What is a Land and Peoples Acknowledgement, and Why is it Important
A Land and Peoples Acknowledgement is a formal statement rooted in Indigenous protocol that recognizes the peoples who traditionally inhabited the land where you live or work and the relationship that continues to exist between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. It’s a way of honoring and expressing gratitude to those who were traditional stewards of the land, while being mindful of the ongoing influence of colonial behaviors and belief systems.
At Mind & Life, we acknowledge the land and the peoples who inhabited the land where our office is located in Charlottesville, Virginia, as part of our commitment to our values: compassion, integrity, curiosity, inclusion, and excellence. This is important because local histories of colonization, disenfranchisement, and oppression have had devastating effects on the Indigenous and African American communities here. Mind & Life intends to build relationships, promote awareness, recognize resilience, and show respect for these communities, disrupting the history of silence and exclusion that has created disadvantages today.
Our Office in Albemarle County, Virginia
In 2022, our office moved from Downtown Charlottesville to neighboring Albemarle County. Our new office building is located on the ancestral and unceded land of the Monacan Indian Nation, who have lived in central Virginia for over 10,000 years. In 1924, the Virginia General Assembly passed the Racial Integrity Act, which legally erased native identities and pushed many Monacan Indians to leave the state. Negotiations over sacred Monacan land, Virginia native identities, and historic representations are alive, contested, and ongoing, and it is our responsibility to join these conversations.
Read the Land Acknowledgement for our former downtown location here.
We ask you to join us in acknowledging the land and the peoples of Charlottesville by learning more and taking action. We hope that you’ll also learn more about where you live: whose land are you on, and what peoples were there before you? You might begin by consulting the U.S. Department of Art and Culture’s Guide and Call to Acknowledgement, or identifying whose land you are on with this interactive map of Native Land.