Tribal Lands Acknowledgement

Amador County Arts Council Tribal Lands Acknowledgment

Background:
Tribal Land Acknowledgement is a way that people insert an awareness of Indigenous presence and land rights in everyday life. This is often done at the beginning of performances, lectures, meetings, or any public event. It can be a subtle way to recognize the history of colonialism and a need for change in settler colonial societies.

However, these acknowledgements can easily be a token gesture rather than a meaningful practice. All settlers, including recent arrivants, have a responsibility to consider what it means to acknowledge the history and legacy of colonialism.

In our decisions around funding, programming, and services, the Amador County Arts Council Board of Directors, Staff, and Volunteers consider the following questions:

    • What are some of the privileges settlers enjoy today because of colonialism?
    • How can individuals develop relationships with peoples whose territory they are living on in the contemporary Amador County geopolitical landscape?
    • What are you, or your organization, doing beyond acknowledging the territory where you live, work, or hold your events?
    • What might you be doing that perpetuates settler colonial futurity rather than considering alternative ways forward for Amador?
    • Do you have an understanding of the on-going violence and the trauma that is part of the structure of colonialism?

The following Tribal Land Acknowledgment will be read/recited by the appropriate designated person at the beginning of all meetings, events, and gatherings:

The Amador County Arts Council invites you to join us as we carry forward a practice of sharing respect deference for, offering gratitude to, and recognition of the original inhabitants of the lands we now call Amador County, California.

We acknowledge and offer gratitude to these indigenous ancestors, and present-day relations of the Nisenan, Washoe, and the Plains & Northern Sierra Miwok of the Amador County and greater Mother Lode region.

We acknowledge their long history and respect of these lands, their respect for the plants, animals and native landscapes in these lands, their contributions in the establishment and sustenance of our towns and community, and uplift their legacies as they continue to build and sustain their culture and practices today and for future generations.

Some language adapted from California Arts Council, a state agency at arts.ca.gov and from native-land.ca.

Special Thanks for the input and assistance from Glen Villa, Executive Director of Miwok Heritage Center in Ione, California and from Fiona Pulskamp, artist and cultural leader from Sacramento, California.