The San Diego Natural History Museum recognizes and respects the indigenous peoples as traditional stewards of the land. Specifically, we recognize the Kumeyaay people whose ancestral homelands the Museum currently occupies. We extend our respect and gratitude to the indigenous people who have lived on and cared for this land since time immemorial. As the original caretakers and conservationists, we honor their continued legacy of understanding, caretaking, and upholding the pillars of biodiversity.
A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes and respects the indigenous peoples as traditional stewards of the land on which the Museum resides and works. A Land Acknowledgement recognizes the enduring relationship that exists between indigenous peoples and their traditional lands. This is an act of conciliation that makes a statement recognizing the traditional land of the indigenous people who have called and still call the land home before and after the arrival of settlers. These statements do not exist in past tense or outside historical context. Colonialism is an ongoing process and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. Land Acknowledgements are commonplace and even policy in countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and among Tribal Nations in the U.S.
A Land Acknowledgement recognizes the displacement of Indigenous peoples and the devastating effect that forced relocation has had on these communities. They are a way to express gratitude, respect and appreciation to Indigenous peoples and are a simple, powerful step towards correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture. Additionally, a Land Acknowledgement encourages individuals to think about what it means to occupy space on Indigenous lands and is an educational opportunity for those individuals who may have never heard the names of the tribes that have and continue to live on the land they are standing on.
Land Acknowledgement: You’re on California Indian Land, Now What? California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center at CSUSM
What is a Land Acknowledgement? The Division of Diversity and Innovation at San Diego State University
Honor Native Land: A guide and Call to Acknowledgement U.S. Department of Arts and Culture
Land Acknowledgement website page of The Museum of Us