Recognizing Indigenous Pasts, Presents, and Futures: A Conversation on Land Acknowledgements

Join Margaret Bruchac, PhD, and Rhonda Anderson for a “fireside chat” on the topic of land acknowledgments. The event will be co-moderated by Calvin R. Hill, PhD, vice president for inclusion and community engagement, and Springfield College student Jahlina Carter, Class of 2023.
 

The Springfield College Office of Inclusion and Community Engagement hosted a "fireside chat" on Tuesday, Nov. 17. The night featured Margaret Bruchac, PhD, and Rhonda Anderson focused on the topic of land acknowledgments. The event will be co-moderated by Calvin R. Hill, PhD, vice president for inclusion and community engagement, and Springfield College student Jahlina Carter, Class of 2023.

Increasingly, academic institutions and organizations are embracing the practice of opening events by speaking the names of regional Native American tribal nations, thereby calling attention to the Indigenous histories of the lands we stand upon. These words, designed to counteract the routine erasures of the colonial past, can also serve as a first step to improving public awareness of Native American nations in the present.

The panelists shed some light on the purpose of land acknowledgements, why they have become both popular and necessary, and how they could be applied to policies and practices at Springfield College. The group also discussed related contemporary issues that affect Native American nations in Massachusetts and across the Northeast region. 

 

Increasingly, academic institutions and organizations are embracing the practice of opening events by speaking the names of regional Native American tribal nations, thereby calling attention to the Indigenous histories of the lands we stand upon. These words, designed to counteract the routine erasures of the colonial past, can also serve as a first step to improving public awareness of Native American nations in the present.

The panelists shed some light on the purpose of land acknowledgements, why they have become both popular and necessary, and how they could be applied to policies and practices at Springfield College. The group also discussed related contemporary issues that affect Native American nations in Massachusetts and across the Northeast region. 

Margaret M. Bruchac (Abenaki) is an associate professor of anthropology, coordinator of Native American and Indigenous studies, and consulting scholar to the American section of the Penn Museum at the University of Pennsylvania.

Rhonda Anderson (Iñupiaq) is the western Massachusetts commissioner on Indian Affairs and founder and co-director of both the Ohketeau Cultural Council and the Native Youth Empowerment Foundation.