The Baltimore Writing Center Project acknowledges Indigenous peoples past, present, and future as the rightful and traditional protectors and caretakers of their native lands in what is known today as the United States. We recognize that as institutional parts of our Baltimore area universities digital and nondigital spaces we participate in the historical, ongoing, and violent legacy of land theft initiated by white, colonialist settlers who first invaded the Chesapeake region in the 17th century. Specifically, our writing centers operate on the ancestral lands of Iroquoian-speaking Susquehannock peoples and Algonquian-speaking peoples of the Cedarville Band of the Piscataway Conoy, the Piscataway Indian Nation, and the Piscataway Conoy Tribe, all of whom shared this area through their relations and whose descendants are thriving and resisting settler occupation.
We also acknowledge our complicity in the historical, deliberate, and ongoing attempts by setters and their systems of oppression to appropriate Indigenous cultures, ignore or break treaties with sovereign Native Nations, and perpetrate and obfuscate racist and violent acts of political, social, economic, and ecological white supremacy. We further acknowledge the fundamental role that these colonialist acts have and continue to play in the historical and contemporary disenfranchisement, surveillance, and harm of Black Americans.
Recognizing these intertwining injustices, this land acknowledgement serves as an opening to contemplate the continuing resistance to colonial indoctrination through various Indigenous and Black movements for identity, freedom, and self-determination. We commit our sites of learning to ending anti-Black racism, modern colonialism, and white supremacy and to creating equitable relations that honor and heal communities and the land. We further advocate for ecological, relational, social, and political restoration and healing through the return of Native and Indigenous lands to their sovereign, rightful stewards.
We ask that readers of this acknowledgement join us in supporting the following local organizations and projects:
- African American Department at the Enoch Pratt Free Library
- Baltimore American Indian Center (BAIC)
- Baltimore Black Arts District
- Farm Alliance of Baltimore
- Indigenous Strong
- Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs
- Native American Lifelines
- Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture
- University of Maryland, Baltimore, Office of Community Engagement
To learn more about local Indigenous history and contemporary affairs, including those of Lumbee and Cherokee communities, consider these resources:
- Chen (2020) Baltimore’s Black food sovereignty movement: What you need to know. Baltimore Corps.
- Kast & Harvie (2020) A walking tour of Baltimore’s Lumbee community. WYPR: On Point.
- Maryland Manual Online: A Guide to Maryland and its Government
- Minner (2019) The Lumbee: Indigenous people of North Carolina in Baltimore. Bewminate.
- Piscataway Conoy Tribe
- Spiegel (2020) A native american community in Baltimore reclaims its history. Smithsonian Magazine.
- Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, the American Library Association (RBMS) 2019 Baltimore Conference Land Acknowledgement
- W.K. Kellogg Foundation (2020) Acknowledging the Indigenous lands surrounding Washington D.C. YouTube.
To engage with national Indigenous issues and organizations, see these resources:
- Belfi (2020) Native solidarity with Black Lives Matter as both communities confront centuries-long state violence. Cultural Survival.
- Center for Native American Youth (2021) What it means to be both Black and Indigenous. Aspen Institute.
- Center for World Indigenous Studies
- Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women
- Cultural Survival
- Decolonial Atlas
- Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association
- Gearon (2021) Indigenous feminism is our culture: a call to bring back matriarchy in Indigenous communities to rebuild and decolonize the foundation of Native-community life. Stanford Social Innovation Review.
- High Country News
- Indian Country Today: Digital Indigenous News
- Indian Health Service (n.d.) Two-Spirit.
- Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) (2017) Indigenous women and their human rights in the Americas PDF.
- International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs
- Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women USA
- Nagle (host, 2021) This land. Crooked Media [podcast].
- National Indian Child Welware Center
- National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
- National Museum of the American Indian
- Native Americans in Philanthropy (2021) Intersectional Indigenous identities: Afro-Indigenous and Black Indigenous Peoples: a starting guide of terminology.
- Native American Rights Fund
- Native Arts and Cultures Foundation
- Native Voice One: Native American Radio Network
- Native Women’s Wilderness (n.d) Murdered and missing Indigenous women.
- The Center of Excellence on Racial and Ethnic Minority Young Men Who Have Sex with Men and Other Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Populations (YMSM + LGBT) (2015) Native American resources.
- University of British Columbia Library (2021) Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Studies (libguide).
- Vinyeta, Powys Whyte, & Lynn (2015) Climate change through an intersectional lens: Gendered vulnerability and resilience in Indigenous communities in the United States PDF. United States Department of Agriculture.
- Zinn Education Project (n.d.) Books: Non-fiction: An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.
For guidance for creating a land acknowledgment, view these resources:
- UMBC Office of Equity and Inclusion (2021) Land acknowledgement resources.
- Native Governance Center (n.d.) A guide to Indigenous land acknowledgement.