“The land on which we gather is the unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, comprised of the descendants of indigenous people taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast, is today working hard to restore traditional stewardship practices on these lands and heal from historical trauma.”
What is a land acknowledgment?
A land acknowledgment is a statement that recognizes the history and presence of Indigenous peoples and their enduring relationship to their traditional homelands. Land acknowledgments 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 acknowledgment 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 acknowledgment?
UC Santa Cruz community members are encouraged to read the land acknowledgment at the beginning of gatherings and events. Use of the land acknowledgment 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 acknowledgment is read carefully.
It is appropriate for the host of events held on UC Santa Cruz campuses to read the acknowledgment.
It is not appropriate to create alternative statements, alter the acknowledgment or to invent ceremonial rituals when reading the land acknowledgment.
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.