A civil rights lawsuit filed by a University of Washington computer science professor has called attention to a largely academic debate over land acknowledgments — formal statements that recognize Indigenous custodianship of geographic areas on which institutions stand or events take place.
Evolving out of the work of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, land acknowledgments are becoming increasingly common at U.S. universities and sporting events.
Yale University, for example, developed this statement:
“Yale University acknowledges that indigenous peoples and nations, including Mohegan, Mashantucket Pequot, Eastern Pequot, Schaghticoke, Golden Hill Paugussett, Niantic, and the Quinnipiac and other Algonquian speaking peoples, have stewarded through generations the lands and waterways of what is now the state of Connecticut. We honor and respect the enduring relationship that exists between these peoples and nations and this land.”
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