ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE
OF THE LAND
When we talk about land, land is part of who we are. It’s a mixture of our blood, our past, our current, and our future. We carry our ancestors in us, and they’re around us. As you all do.
-MARY LYONS (LEECH LAKE BAND OF OJIBWE)
What Is An Original People Acknowledgment?
Original People Acknowledgements are a simple, powerful practice that demonstrates respect by making Indigenous people’s history and culture visible. It is also a small step along the path toward healing and repair. It is a contemporary practice reflective of indigenous protocols to honor the land and to open spaces with reverence. In its modern context, this practice:
- Acknowledges the ancestors that were here before us and counters the “doctrine of discovery”
- Gives visibility to indigenous people who are part of our community
- Recognizes tribal people as their own sovereign nations
- Spreads awareness about the historical context that has led to this moment and supports truth telling
- Provides space to reflect on the ways non-Natives currently inhabit the land, dominate resource consumption, and exist within a still-
active process of colonization
- Creates space to build relationships with indigenous people and communities and with the land
- Inspires ongoing action and relationship
*We give credit and thanks for the above definition to the work of the Luna Jiménez Institute for Social Transformation (LJIST), who partnered with Shilo George of Łush Kumtux Tumtum Consulting, LLC, in the work and content featured in the blog post: “Acknowledging the Original People of this Land”, October 8, 2018
Why Have We Included An Original People Acknowledgement Here?
Most of the members of the Wholehearted Business Team live and work in the Portland Metro area. We recognize this land has been the home of many diverse Native peoples for over 11,000 years and is currently home to the ninth largest urban original people population in the United States.
As a guest on this land, we respectfully acknowledge that this place we claim as our home and where we provide for our families rests on traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla, and many other tribes who made their homes along the Columbia River.
We also acknowledge the history of the Portland Metro area as a destination site for the Indian Relocation Act of 1956, where Native people were forced to leave their homes on tribal land and adhere to the dominant culture and the systemic policies of genocide, which are still impacting many Indigenous families today.
We honor their legacy by pledging to use this platform and our position as business owners to bring awareness to these atrocities and to use our privilege, voices, and actions towards healing and repair.
We respect the enduring relationship that exists between the Native people and this occupied land. We acknowledge the wisdom, knowledge, creativity, and incredible resilience of all Indigenous communities — past, present, and future. We are humbled and grateful to learn from their rich and vibrant culture and sustaining presence.
The Native American Community in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile
Leading with Tradition: Native American Community in the Portland Metropolitan Area
A Guide to an Indigenous Land Acknowledgement
The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America, by Thomas King
Luna Jiménez Institute for Social Transformation