A land acknowledgment helps to create a more accurate picture of the history of the lands and waterways we call home and pays respect to the Indigenous Peoples who have stewarded them from time immemorial. As part of our commitment to practicing anti-racist values, combatting white supremacy and colonialism, and to help us all unlearn and relearn the history that has brought us here to the land we call the United States, Rochester LGBTQ+ Together offers this land acknowledgment statement. With this understanding, we can envision a new path forward, led by the principles of equity and justice.
U.S. society, as it exists today, owes its identity and vitality to generations from around the world who contributed their hopes, dreams and resources to making the history that led to this moment. Some were kidnapped, forcibly relocated, and enslaved; some fled religious and social persecution; some were drawn to leave their distant homes in search of economic opportunity and a better life; some where stripped of their property and rights and placed in internment camps; and some, who have stewarded this land for more generations than can be counted, were slaughtered and removed from the land. Truth and acknowledgment of these past hardships and atrocities that many peoples have suffered on American soil are critical to building mutual respect and connection across all barriers of heritage and difference. By honoring these realities, we begin this effort to acknowledge truths that have often been purposefully buried and histories that have been intentionally rewritten.
There are currently 574 Indian Nations (variously called tribes, nations, bands, pueblos, communities and Native villages) federal recognized in the United States. Additionally, there many other tribes located throughout the United States who are recognized by their respective state governments. We are gathered in the ancestral and unceded territory of the Onöndowa’ga, or “the people of the Great Hill.” In English, they are known as Seneca people or “the keeper of the western door.” Together, with the Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Tuscarora, the Seneca make up the sovereign Haudenosaunee Confederacy. We pay respect to their elders past and present. Please take a moment to consider the many legacies of violence, displacement, genocide and migration that bring us together here today – and join us in uncovering such truths.
Adapted from https://usdac.us/nativeland – visit their website to learn more and download the Honor Native Land Guide. #HonorNativeLand
To learn more about the Native people in our region and the Canandaigua Treaty of 1794, visit https://ganondagan.org.