What is an Indigenous Land or Territorial Acknowledgement?
An Indigenous Land or Territorial Acknowledgement is a statement that recognizes the Indigenous peoples who have been dispossessed from the homelands and territories upon which an institution was built and currently occupies and operates in. For some, an Indigenous Land or Territorial Acknowledgement might be an unfamiliar practice, but it is a common protocol within Indigenous communities in the United States and is a standard practice in both Australia and Canada. The terms “Land” and “Territorial” are not necessarily interchangeable, and the decision as to their use should be specific and local, pertaining to those Indigenous people who are being acknowledged as well as to those legacies and responsibilities of an institution that are also being acknowledged. In this guide, a preference for land acknowledgement is made in keeping with advocacy acknowledging Lenapehoking as Lenape homeland. Within cultural institutions, these statements can be adopted in various ways. However it is vital that they be spoken as a verbal statement given at the beginning of programs or events. In addition, they can also be expressed through a text panel or plaque, and an acknowledgement on an institutional website.