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2021-22 Virtual Building Allyship Series: land Acknowledgements as Metaphor: Allyship and Land Back Movements

April 28, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

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land acknowledgements are frequently given at official Cornell events, but what do they represent? We will dive into the performative aspects of land acknowledgements and how land-grant universities such as Cornell have a responsibility to move beyond these statements for Indigenous communities. Shifting the focus from acknowledgment to action, speakers will discuss ways students, non-Indigenous communities, and institutions can localize allyship. Such actions range from citing Indigenous thinkers, to supporting local Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ sovereignty and centering Indigenous relationships with the Land. We hope to amplify the voices of Indigenous students at Cornell, the members of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ, and the larger Haudenosaunee confederacy, as well as suggest actions to support Indigenous communities.  

*The capitalization of land vs Land is intentional in both the title and description. This is following Dr. Sandra Styres and Dr. Dawn Zinga’s syntactical practice in their writing “The community-first Land-centred theoretical framework: bringing a ‘good mind’ to Indigenous education research?” as well as Dr. Max Liboiron’s “Pollution is Colonialism.” The capitalization of Land acknowledges the “the unique entity that is the combined living spirit of plants, animals, air, water, humans, histories, and events recognized by many Indigenous communities.” Whereas when land is not capitalized, we refer “to the concept from a colonial worldview whereby landscapes are common, universal, and everywhere” (Liboiron 2021). 

This Building Allyship Series session is collaboratively hosted by the Graduate and Professional Student Diversity CouncilGraduate School Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement and the Indigenous Graduate Student Association