Land Acknowledgment: Lesson 1
Unearthing Forgotten Histories: Indigenous Presence and the Shadows of Colonization
Welcome to the beginning of our exploration into land acknowledgments. This first lesson lays the foundation for understanding the historical context and significance of recognizing Indigenous presence and acknowledging a prehistory to colonization. We encourage you to engage with the additional resources provided, as this is just the starting point of a comprehensive journey into a complex and vital subject.
After this mini lesson, you should be able to:
- Articulate the role and significance of land acknowledgment in recognizing Indigenous presence.
- Critically evaluate the historical context, including the brutalities, systematic indoctrination, forced removal, and assimilation of Indigenous peoples.
- Examine the Western notion of wilderness, considering the romantic view of the U.S. National Park System, and analyze how this has led to the appropriation of native and Indigenous lands.
Native American, American Indian
Nanabush & Creation
Taking A Look Back
The Romantic View of Wilderness and Its Impact: The Western concept of wilderness, epitomized in the romanticized view of the US National Park System, has profound implications for how we perceive and interact with the land. The Fortress model of conservation, built on exclusion and appropriation, is more than just a management strategy; it's a worldview that alienates native people from their land. This perspective, exported globally through models like Yellowstone, reshapes not only landscapes but also cultural and social relationships. Understanding this romantic view and its impacts invites us to reimagine conservation in a way that honors Indigenous presence, rights, and wisdom.
The Complexity of Indigenous Presence and Colonization: Understanding Indigenous presence and colonization goes beyond mere historical facts; it demands an engagement with the deep-rooted complexities of ownership, identity, and cultural erasure. Recognizing that there is a prehistory to colonization invites us to see the land not just as a resource but as a living tapestry of human stories and connections. The brutality, forced removal, and misguided theologies that characterized colonization are not just historical events; they continue to shape our relationships with the land and each other. Unearthing these forgotten histories challenges us to see, feel, and respond to these realities with empathy and action.
- How does the history of colonization and forced removal of Indigenous peoples affect your perception of land and its ownership?
- In what ways can acknowledging this history influence current attitudes towards land and Indigenous rights?
- How might you engage with additional resources to further explore the historical context of the land you live on, and what steps can you take to honor that history?
- How might understanding the prehistory to colonization influence your sense of place and connection to the land?