Photo of Joseph Standing Bear of the Midwest SOARRING Foundation offering a blessing at McDonald Farm
The following is The Conservation Foundation’s Native American Land Acknowledgment Statement as approved by the Board of Trustees:
As an organization dedicated to environmental stewardship, we acknowledge the many Native People and tribes who were the original stewards of this land for thousands of years before European settlement. With reverence and respect, we acknowledge their indigenous spirit of everything that is on and in the land. Native Peoples did not choose to leave this land, and now we are working to carry on the legacy of land stewardship that was inherent in their culture and customs.
A Land Acknowledgment is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.
To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honoring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long-standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgments do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol.