St. Olaf Land Acknowledgement
We stand on the homelands of the Wahpekute Band of the Dakota Nation. We honor with gratitude the people who have stewarded the land throughout the generations and their ongoing contributions to this region. We acknowledge the ongoing injustices that we have committed against the Dakota Nation, and we wish to interrupt this legacy, beginning with acts of healing and honest storytelling about this place.
Why do we provide this Statement?
To recognize the land on which we reside is to express gratitude and appreciation for the Indigenous people who lived on, worked on, and cared for the land from time immemorial. This acknowledgement, however, does not exist in the past tense; it is essential that we, as educators, identify our own positionality within the legacy of colonization. Beginning in 1860 and continuing through 1978, hundreds of thousands of Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families and sent to boarding schools. Western education was, and continues to be, utilized as a weapon of assimilation and cultural genocide against Indigenous People. A land acknowledgement helps us to build mindfulness of this truth, and allows space to reflect and alter our present participation in the colonization of Indigenous lands and cultures.