Which Native Land are You On?Breaking News
tags: Native American history, Settler Colonialism, Land Acknowledgements
President Biden became the first president to officially recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day in 2021, and did so again this year. It falls on the same day as Columbus Day, which was established by Italian American groups to celebrate their heritage and to acknowledge the mistreatment of the immigrant group in the U.S.
Indigenous Peoples' Day is a time of reflection, recognition and celebration of the role Native people have played in U.S. history, as NPR has reported. One way to mark the day — and to learn about Indigenous history year-round — is to learn which Native lands you live on.
Acknowledging an area's original inhabitants and stewards is a valuable process, albeit a complex one, as the National Museum of the American Indian explains. The museum suggests reaching out to local Indigenous communities for guidance involving formal land acknowledgements, which can be offered at the start of public and private gatherings.
"Many places in the Americas have been home to different Native Nations over time, and many Indigenous people no longer live on lands to which they have ancestral ties," the museum says. "Even so, Native Nations, communities, families, and individuals today sustain their sense of belonging to ancestral homelands and protect these connections through Indigenous languages, oral traditions, ceremonies, and other forms of cultural expression."
Native Land Digital, an Indigenous-led nonprofit based in Canada, is working to facilitate such conversations and document this history including by putting together a searchable map of Native territories, languages and treaties.
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