Land Acknowledgement

Writing a Land Acknowledgement

European Descendant

I am a descendant of northern Europeans. My maternal grandparents were Irish, and my paternal grandparents were born in Germany in the late 1800s. They immigrated to what we now call Canada, and the United States. Lands belonging to Indigenous peoples who have suffered a long, traumatic process of colonization that continues still today. These lands were first stolen by invaders, then built by Africans who were kidnapped from their continent, forced into slavery, exploited and auctioned as property. 

I am grateful for my connection to the lands and the more-than-human world where I grew up, and where I currently live, and I ‘rumble’ with this. ‘Rumble’ is a term I’m borrowing from Brené Brown. It means a commitment to lean into vulnerability, to stay curious, and generous, to stick with the messy middle of the problem identification and solving, to take a break and circle back when necessary, to be fearless in owning our parts, and to listen with the same passion with which we want to be heard. To show up with an open heart and mind so we can serve the work and each other, not our egos. There might be a better or different word, but this resonates with me right now.

I am committed to understanding and exploring ways to continuously learn about the Indigenous peoples of the lands I have called home.  I recognize and acknowledge Indigenous people and their cultures as resilient, and know they continue to face violence, basic human rights violations, and many obstacles still today. 


What are ways to create safe spaces for truths to be told, and heard, what does healing and reconciliation means for their communities — and is it even my place as a white woman to be curious about this? I have so much to learn. But I’m here to learn, with my open and vulnerable heart. I commit to digging deep into my courage when I’m called out in ignorance, while staying true to five of my core values: accountability, connection, truth, safety, and creativity. I acknowledge I don’t have a plan yet, and this will be a slow, steady learning for me. My first step seems basic — to sit with myself and create a list of hard questions and figure out where to get answers. Then not look away as I research and learn what happened here on this land where I currently live in Colorado, and where I grew up near the Tuscarora Reservation in western New York.