Land acknowledgment is a traditional custom that dates back centuries in many Native nations and communities. Today, land acknowledgments are used by Native Peoples and non-Natives to recognize Indigenous Peoples who are the original stewards of the lands on which we now live.(quote from website of the National Museum of the American Indian, https://americanindian.si.edu/nk360/informational/land-acknowledgment)
In January 2021, prompted by their experience with the Sacred Ground Race Dialogue Series, a group of St. Clarians began work on a land acknowledgement to recognize and honor the Native Peoples who once inhabited the land where we now worship. Two years later, on January 15, 2023, St. Clare’s Land Acknowledgement was incorporated into the liturgy of St. Clare’s and blessed by Bishop Bonnie A. Perry.
In introducing the Land Acknowledgement, Jennifer Wolf summarized the journey the team took. They studied maps and treaties, they considered misconceptions they held and looked for information written, produced, and/or performed by Indigenous peoples. They listened to stories, they asked questions, they were invited to visit a Michigan tribal community, and they worked with many, many people. You can listen to Jennifer’s summary of their journey on Facebook (starting around 43:30) or you can read the transcript here.
Many thanks to all who contributed to this journey.
1843 drawing of Mission Point beach at Mackinac Island, Michigan; Edwin O. Wood, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons