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Acknowledgement: Native Presence and the Guilford College Landscape

A guide to the concept of land acknowledgements and resources for exploring here at Guilford College. Includes information about Guilford College's relationship with Native peoples over time and the history of the land where our campus is today.

What is Acknowledgement?

Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth. Imagine this practice widely adopted: imagine cultural venues, classrooms, conference settings, places of worship, sports stadiums, and town halls, acknowledging traditional lands. Millions would be exposed—many for the first time—to the names of the traditional Indigenous inhabitants of the lands they are on, inspiring them to ongoing awareness and action.
~ From the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture Honor Native Land: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgment

A Land Acknowledgment can be the opening of a conversation and not an ending. It is an ongoing process. Posting an acknowledgement statement is an invitation to engage further and should not be seen as a replacement for deeper reparative actions. This guide is a resource for learning more about the concept land acknowledgements more broadly as well as land and relationships with Native Americans -- past and present -- here at Guilford College.

Beginning the Process: Guilford Working Draft Statement

Guilford College — as all institutes of higher education in the United States — sits on Native land. In our case, it is land previously cared for and claimed, at various times, by the Keyauwee, Saura, and Saponi Peoples, some of whom such as the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, maintain a strong presence in the area, caring for it still. While Guilford College as an institution has not done all it could to respect and maintain its relationships with Native People, it is important to acknowledge these Peoples’ survivance, and their care for the land in the past and the present and the future. Doing so in a syllabus is an early and critical step in a larger process of relationship-building. Guilford is undertaking that work deliberately, working both to build and nurture relationships with the region’s Indigenous People in ways that respect their claims to sovereignty, as well as ensuring that as a campus community we are as supportive of Native Students as we can be.  Drafted August, 2021


Introductory Materials

Additional Resources