Land Acknowledgement

“We would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather is the traditional and unceded territory of the Uypi Tribe of the Awaswas Nation. Today these lands are represented by the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band who are the descendants of the Awaswas and Mutsun Nations whose ancestors were taken to Mission Santa Cruz and Mission San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast. Today the Amah Mutsun are working hard to fulfill their obligation to the Creator to care for and steward Mother Earth and all living things through relearning efforts and the Amah Mutsun Land Trust.”

What is a land acknowledgement?

A land acknowledgement is a statement that recognizes the history and presence of Indigenous peoples and their enduring relationship to their traditional homelands. Land acknowledgements help create awareness of the cultural erasure of Indigenous peoples and the processes of colonization and subjugation that have contributed to that erasure.

The land acknowledgement used at UC Santa Cruz was developed in partnership with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Chairman and the Amah Mutsun Relearning Program at the UCSC Arboretum.

When and how should you use the land acknowledgement?

UC Santa Cruz community members are encouraged to read the land acknowledgement at the beginning of gatherings and events. Use of the land acknowledgement should be done respectfully and not become merely routine.

Pronunciations of the tribes are: Amah (Aaa-Ma), Mutsun (Moot-sun), Uypi (You-P), Awaswas (Aaa-Was-Was). Please be sure that the tribes names are pronounced correctly and that the entire acknowledgement is read carefully.

It is appropriate for the host of events held on UC Santa Cruz campuses to read the acknowledgement.

It is not appropriate to create alternative statements, alter the acknowledgement or to invent ceremonial rituals when reading the land acknowledgement.

If you would like to include the land acknowledgment in your syllabus, UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning offers these instructions.