Acknowledging and Honoring the Land We Are On
What is a land acknowledgement statement?
A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.
Why do we recognize the land?
ASI Poly Escapes aims to provide students with resources and access to the nature across California. The land in California is inextricably linked to the Indigenous Peoples. Expressing gratitude and appreciation to the Indigenous Peoples is a step to recognizing those who were living and working on the land across California long before Europeans arrived.
“It is important to understand the longstanding history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation.”
– Northwestern University
Cal Poly sits on the traditional lands of the yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini Northern Chumash Tribe of San Luis Obispo County and Region. The yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini have a documented presence in this area for over 10,000 years. The tiłhini peoples have stewarded their ancestral and unceded homelands which include all of the cities, communities, federal and state open spaces within the San Luis Obispo County region. These homelands extend East into the Carrizo Plains toward Kern County, South to the Santa Maria River, North to Ragged Point, and West beyond the ocean’s shoreline in an unbroken chain of lineage, kinship, and culture.
Moving beyond Land Acknowledgement
While Land Acknowledgement is an important starting point, ongoing and consistent action to support Indigenous communities is critical. Being an indigenous ally is an ongoing and life-long process.
Supporting the Indigenous Community:
Get involved with issues that affect Indigenous Peoples
- Understand the local issues in your area that effect the Indigenous People, and contact your local representatives to advocate for change.
Support and amplify the work of Indigenous creatives
- Shop from Indigenous owned stores, boutiques, etc.
- Share the message and work of Indigenous People on your social media channels
Spend time learning about Indigenous issues
- Read books, watch documentaries, listen to podcasts, or other forms of education to better understand the true history of colonization and its impacts on Indigenous Peoples.
Map of California
As we explore the state of California through our trips and experiences, we acknowledge the land that we are visiting not as our own, but of the Indigenous People of that area. We are respectful visitors on their land.
- Esselen Tribe (Big Sur State Park)
- Timbisha Shoshana Tribe (Death Valley National Park)
- The Serrano, Cahuilla, Mojave, and Chemehuevi (Joshua Tree National Park)
- Southern Sierra Miwuk (Yosemite Valley)
- Western Mono and Tubatulabal (Sequoia National Park)
- Coast Miwok (Pt. Reyes National Seashore)
- Owens Valley Paiute (Kings Canyon National Park)
These tribes had dynamic areas that they lived in where they moved for seasons, trade, and food. The territories mentioned are based off the best research but do not limit the full extent of each tribe’s location land origins.
Many treaties, cultural genocides, and the expulsion of Indigenous people from the land they used to fully live with have occurred and continue to occur.
Parts of Life:
The indigenous people of California were diverse in their lives with different languages, homes, diets and beliefs.
Land acknowledgements is the first step in finding ways to support and give space for Indigenous Tribes in your area. For each tribe we recognize, pay attention to the next actions you can take to show respect, gratitude, and support for the land and its people.