Graphic by Eric E. Doxtator
Acknowledging the Land
A land acknowledgement creates a more accurate picture of the history of the lands and waterways we call home and pays respect to the Indigenous People who have stewarded them from time immemorial. At Geva, we offer this statement as part of our ant-racist values and to help us all unlearn and relearn the history that has brought us here to the land we call the United States. With this understanding, we can envision a new path forward, led by the principles of equity and justice.
American 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 stolen and enslaved here against their will, some were drawn to leave their distant homes in search of a better life, and some have stewarded this land for more generations than can be counted. Truth and acknowledgment of the 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 the truth, we begin this effort to acknowledge what has been purposefully buried.
There are 567 federally recognized Indian Nations (variously called tribes, nations, bands, pueblos, communities and Native villages) in the United States. Additionally, there are 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 O-non-dowa-gah, (pronounced: Oh-n’own-dough-wahgah) or “the people of the Great Hill.” In English, they are known as Seneca people, “the keeper of the western door.” Together, with the Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Tuscarora, the Seneca make up the sovereign Haudenosaunee (ho-dee-no-SHO-nee) Confederacy. We pay respects 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 please join us in uncovering such truths at any and all public events.
To learn more about the Native people in our region and the Canandaigua Treaty of 1794, visit https://ganondagan.org.