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Why does Good Shepherd Food Bank have a Land Acknowledgment?

Why does Good Shepherd Food Bank
have a Land Acknowledgment?

In the last few years, it has become more common practice for non-Indigenous communities, individuals, and organizations to include a Land Acknowledgement as part of their gatherings. For Indigenous people and communities, land acknowledgments have always been used and continue to be used to greet, acknowledge, and welcome visitors into a territory.

The practice of acknowledging the land is also part of understanding that we as humans are not separate from the land and natural environment but one with it. As such, for many Indigenous people, acknowledging the land is integrated into their daily life and practice. Acknowledgments may also be part of a more significant ceremony that includes smudging or other traditional practices. A land acknowledgment recognizes the original rights holders of a particular region or territory and pays respects to the land, water, animals, and all surrounding natural elements.

For non-Indigenous communities and organizations, adopting a land acknowledgment is part of reconciling our individual or organizational history with the land we live and work on. It is a statement that acknowledges the history of how we came to be on the land we occupy, in many cases by force and the claiming of the land that was unceded and stolen from Indigenous people. Taking time to acknowledge this history is an opportunity to reconcile, grow, and learn from our past while also recognizing that Indigenous people continue to live among us, often displaced from their ancestral homelands, yet thriving in the richness of a deep connection to the land and place.