From the CCCC American Indian Caucus: As the Conference on College Composition and Communication welcomes attendees to Minowaki, which in Anishinaabemowin means “the good land,” we take a moment to thank the water for supporting life in this region for over ten thousand years along the southwest shores of Michigami, where the Milwaukee, Menominee and Kinnickinnic rivers meet. We also acknowledge the ancestors who created effigy mounds made from the living earth between 800 BCE and 1200 CE as we stand today on land that has been inhabited by the Potawatomi, Menominee, Ho-Chunk, Ojibwe, Sac and Fox, and Mascouten people. They are joined today by the Oneida, Stockbridge-Munsee, and Brothertown people who were displaced from the east and now, with the sovereign nations and citizens of Wisconsin, serve as stewards of this space.
Tribal nations people have always practiced land acknowledgements when visiting territories that were not their own. Acknowledgements are opportunities for learning history, relationship building, situating oneself in a larger web of relations, and holding oneself accountable to being a good guest. Before giving a land acknowledgement, we ask you to do the following:
1. Practice self-reflection Why are you giving this acknowledgement? How do you hope to support tribal nations people? How can your scholarship and teaching make visible indigenous intellectuals and grassroots movements?
2. Do your homework Take some time to learn about the tribal nations people of Milwaukee–past, present, and their future goals.
3. Practice the pronunciation of the language and tribes Check outhttps://ojibwe.net/for resources on Anishinaabemowin.
4. Be honest about the actions of colonizers Yet, land acknowledgements are not grim. It should celebrate the resiliency of tribal nations people and the gifts provided by the land.
Giving a land acknowledgement is not enough. We do not want to tokenize or fetishize indigenous people or this land. We ask you to also do the following: We ask you to build real and authentic relationships with tribal nations people through the following: cite indigenous intellectuals in your research, teach indigenous intellectuals, attend sessions by indigenous scholars, and support grassroots movements in your own community.
If you have questions, please contact Andrea Riley Mukavetz, American Indian Caucus Co-Chair. Many thanks to Dr. Margaret Noodin who assisted in the research and writing of the land/water acknowledgement.