Land Acknowledgement

Lydia Place acknowledges, with humility and respect, the land we stand on today was first inhabited by the People of the Salish Sea, specifically the Lhaq ‘temish (LOCK-tuh-mish) – Lummi and Nuxwsá7aq – Nooksack as well as the many other Salishan families who shared ancestorial homelands and waterways of Whatcom County and the Salish Sea. This land is covered by the Treaty of Point Elliot, signed in 1855. The intention of the treaty was to reaffirm rights to land and waters used by the tribes since time immemorial and to openly share these lands with newcomers.

For those of us who cannot link our ancestry to our local indigenous communities, we owe our gratitude as guests who continue to benefit from the legacy of stewardship by indigenous communities and their ongoing efforts to fight for the preservation and protection of these lands and waters for the benefit of all people.

We have a moral obligation to acknowledge the history of colonialism, including the intended yet failed genocide of Indigenous peoples. We offer this land acknowledgement as a first step and a call for further learning and action. Not in place of building authentic relationships with our local Indigenous communities, but rather, as our commitment to being better neighbors and fellow humans.

Further, we must all examine how our internal policies, programs, and service delivery methods contribute to the ongoing oppression, marginalization, and discrimination, in relation to homelessness and other issues surrounding it that our indigenous communities continue to face.


What Is Land Acknowledgement?

A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that is intended to honor the real truths lived by AI/AN people and to recognize and respect Indigenous People as traditional stewards of this land since time immemorial.

The Land Acknowledgement is part of a broader effort of building and sustaining relationships and partnerships with the Indigenous communities situated in the community where we live and serve. It becomes meaningful when coupled with authentic relationship and informed action.


Why Introduce The Practice Of Land Acknowledgement?

Lydia Place is rooted in a core value of equity, and we know that our collective history of colonization and genocide has created and upheld significant and disparate outcomes related to homelessness for Indigenous peoples both locally and nationally. We recognize that equity work is and will always be an ongoing commitment to learning, embodying a posture of humility, and taking informed action that centers marginalized voices. As such, we practice land acknowledgement out of our value of equity for many reasons, including but not limited to:

  • A way to honor the complex and difficult history that has and continues to impact Native peoples in our region
  • To educate each other and our larger community
  • To publicly recognize and raise and awareness of the Indigenous History of this land and the ongoing relationship that exists between Indigenous people and their traditional territories
  • As a rejection of colonization and a rejection of the doctrine of discovery
  • Redefine relationship with land and waters; to respect these as living beings
  • To support larger truth-telling and reconciliation efforts
  • To follow the example of Indigenous tradition of opening up space with reverence and respect
  • To inspire ongoing action and relationship building


The Development of the Lydia Place Land Acknowledgement

The Lydia Place Land Acknowledgement was developed over a year-long collaborative process and with the advisement and consultation from well-respected advisor and Lummi Nation Tribal Member and Children of the Settng Sun Productions Executive Director (Tse-Sum-Ten) Darrell Hillaire. The team that worked on this also utilized a number of resources that included the North Sound ACH Land Acknowledgement brief and they reviewed and utilized the Honor Native Land: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgement Toolkit, How to Build a Land Acknowledgement authored by the United States Department of Arts and Culture

Lydia Place’s Land Acknowledgment is a living document, which can and will change over time. A Land Acknowledgment by itself is a small gesture. It becomes meaningful when coupled with authentic relationships and informed actions.