Land Acknowledgements: Performance or Praxis?
John Raible (Professor, UNL), Colette Yellow Robe (UNL), Lory Dance (Associate Professor, UNL), Amelia Montes (Associate Professor, UNL)
While land acknowledgements are becoming a more widespread phenomenon in academic spaces, disillusionment is also growing due to what many perceive as the empty, performative nature of these ostensibly well-intended institutional rituals. The purpose of this roundtable is to provide space for a variety of perspectives and voices regarding this topic. (Moderator: Gabe Bruguier)
Part of the Reckoning & Reconciliation on the Great Plains summit.
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[00:00:00.000](acoustic guitar music)
[00:00:05.470]Good morning, everyone.
[00:00:06.920]My name is Gabriel Bruguier.
[00:00:08.900]I'm an enrolled member of the Yankton Sioux Tribe,
[00:00:11.910]and Education and Outreach Coordinator
[00:00:14.050]at the Mid-America Transportation Center,
[00:00:17.270]and I'm very honored to introduce the panel,
[00:00:20.400]Land Acknowledgements, Performance or Praxis?
[00:00:25.460]And I'd like to thank the Center
[00:00:26.870]for Great Plains Studies for hosting this event,
[00:00:29.730]as well as our distinguished panel of speakers,
[00:00:32.569]for speaking today.
[00:00:35.690]And so, what I'll do now is,
[00:00:38.780]I'll welcome each speaker by name,
[00:00:40.770]and then invite each to introduce themselves
[00:00:43.446]in their preferred way.
[00:00:45.680]And I'll just proceed in alphabetical order
[00:00:48.670]with Dr. Lory Dance.
[00:00:53.420]Okay, I wasn't expecting to go first.
[00:00:56.650]I am Lory Dance.
[00:00:59.230]My nickname is Tomny,
[00:01:00.600]it's a nickname from being a tomboy.
[00:01:05.097]I am from Blandford in Petersburg, Virginia.
[00:01:10.030]Which actually has,
[00:01:12.176]I don't know how much of a claim to fame it is,
[00:01:14.880]but it's a part of Virginia
[00:01:19.040]that had one of the largest free Black populations.
[00:01:23.460]In regard to where my people are from,
[00:01:26.880]I don't know where my people are from.
[00:01:31.290]As a descendant of Blacks held in captivity,
[00:01:36.700]I don't know.
[00:01:37.820]West Africa is maybe the best I can get,
[00:01:40.320]hopefully DNA can tell me more.
[00:01:45.060]and next I'd like to welcome Dr. Amelia Montes.
[00:01:54.070]My name is Amelia Montes,
[00:01:55.900]and I am an Associate Professor,
[00:01:59.240]in the English Department here at UNL.
[00:02:02.540]I am from Los Angeles,
[00:02:07.350]and I will stop there.
[00:02:11.910]And next I'd like to welcome Dr. John Raible,
[00:02:17.140]Yeah, thank you, Gabe.
[00:02:19.840]I'm John Raible.
[00:02:21.800]I am a Professor of Multicultural Education,
[00:02:24.800]in the Department of Teaching, Learning,
[00:02:26.820]and Teacher Education.
[00:02:28.130]I'm also affiliated
[00:02:29.120]with the Institute for Ethnic Studies,
[00:02:31.660]and Women's and Gender Studies.
[00:02:35.493]I'm originally from Wisconsin,
[00:02:37.300]and grew up mostly in Massachusetts.
[00:02:41.200]I have an interesting relationship with where I'm from,
[00:02:43.920]because I'm an adopted person,
[00:02:45.480]so I don't have a lot of information.
[00:02:47.250]I am not allowed to have a lot of information,
[00:02:49.910]because of those child removal policies.
[00:02:53.230]But the family that I was adopted into are,
[00:02:56.430]my adoptive mother is from England,
[00:02:59.290]and my adoptive father is of German-American descent.
[00:03:04.200]And I came to Nebraska 16 years ago,
[00:03:08.240]to become a professor here,
[00:03:09.660]in the College of Education and Human Sciences,
[00:03:11.760]where I also serve as the Associate Dean
[00:03:13.730]for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
[00:03:16.610]And I will stop there, thank you.
[00:03:20.890]And finally Dr. Colette Yellow Robe.
[00:03:25.450]Okay, oops, hello everyone.
[00:03:29.740](speaking foreign language).
[00:03:30.930]My name is Colette Yellow Robe.
[00:03:33.490]I'm joining you today from Kansas City,
[00:03:35.900]so I will camera on and off
[00:03:38.780]cause I'm having wifi problems,
[00:03:40.400]so thanks for your patience.
[00:03:42.430]My name is Vonahe'e, or Ceremonial Woman in Cheyenne,
[00:03:46.450]I'm very proud of my names.
[00:03:48.330]And I grew up on the Winnebago Indian Reservation,
[00:03:51.080]up in Northeast Nebraska.
[00:03:52.500]And today, I'm joining you from Kansa Osage territories,
[00:03:57.530]down here with my relatives.
[00:03:59.800]And let's get started, Gabe.
[00:04:03.460]Thank you so much, Colette.
[00:04:05.510]And yeah, now, you know,
[00:04:08.040]thank you all for your introductions.
[00:04:11.800]The panel is Land Acknowledgements,
[00:04:14.530]Performance or Praxis?
[00:04:21.796]And, I guess maybe we can start with that question,
[00:04:24.640]because it is posed as a question,
[00:04:26.230]are they performance or praxis?
[00:04:28.300]And I'll just let the panel enter in,
[00:04:31.700]as they see fit.
[00:04:35.110]Great, thank you, Gabe.
[00:04:37.100]We have given this quite a bit of thought as the panelists,
[00:04:41.500]and as the convener, I'm gonna speak first.
[00:04:44.240]Not because I'm the cisgender male on the group,
[00:04:46.980]but because I invited my friends and colleagues,
[00:04:49.920]to join a discussion of land acknowledgements.
[00:04:53.940]And the reason I invited them is
[00:04:55.660]because not only are they my friends
[00:04:57.750]and respected colleagues,
[00:04:59.740]but each of them has served
[00:05:01.120]as a teacher for me on my own journey,
[00:05:03.530]through Nebraska and into academia.
[00:05:06.350]And thinking about my own responsibilities,
[00:05:09.250]in terms of decolonization and so on.
[00:05:11.970]So I'm really happy that Colette,
[00:05:14.330]and Tomney, as I call her,
[00:05:16.480]and Amelia agreed to be part of this panel.
[00:05:19.480]And what we're gonna do is play a little bit
[00:05:22.160]with traditional conventions
[00:05:24.380]of academic presentations at conferences.
[00:05:30.400]Because, each of us, I think it's safe to say,
[00:05:33.420]we all identify as BIPOC,
[00:05:35.910]or might, in some contexts, identify as colonized people.
[00:05:40.610]And we understand that being
[00:05:43.340]in academia is a colonized space,
[00:05:45.510]and we get to bring all
[00:05:46.915]of who we are into that space,
[00:05:49.000]and if it makes people uncomfortable
[00:05:50.980]and unsettled, that's good.
[00:05:52.780]So we are going to, you know,
[00:05:55.920]this may feel a little bit different
[00:05:57.580]than a typical academic panel discussion,
[00:06:00.220]and that's intentional.
[00:06:01.980]So there is a method to our madness.
[00:06:06.800]So with that, I think Amelia,
[00:06:09.290]well, let me say one other thing.
[00:06:10.500]So one thing that we agreed to do,
[00:06:12.930]was to introduce ourselves in our own way,
[00:06:15.910]that reflects our own cultural backgrounds,
[00:06:18.817]and the way we show up in the world.
[00:06:21.750]The other thing that we talked about doing,
[00:06:23.540]was making a space to share an object or two,
[00:06:28.800]that represents our connection to the land,
[00:06:31.130]and to place and/or to our heritage.
[00:06:35.120]Which might all be one and the same thing.
[00:06:38.040]And then the third thing that I asked if we could do,
[00:06:41.890]is to pose a question that we wanna be asked.
[00:06:45.930]So my question that I wanna be asked at some point,
[00:06:48.510]not right now, is,
[00:06:50.400]please ask me about how I'm thinking
[00:06:52.230]about land acknowledgements as medicine.
[00:06:55.800]Okay, I have some ideas about that,
[00:06:57.120]but I don't want to jump right into that now.
[00:07:00.730]So Amelia, I'm gonna hand it over to you.
[00:07:04.760]Thank you, John.
[00:07:06.290]And honored to be with you and the rest of this panel.
[00:07:11.230]The reason why I introduced myself so briefly is,
[00:07:16.000]I didn't wanna take time
[00:07:17.170]from what I'm doing right now,
[00:07:18.500]which is to do an actual acknowledgement
[00:07:23.210]in different ways.
[00:07:26.640]First, I want to acknowledge and honor
[00:07:30.160]where we are right now, those of us here
[00:07:32.550]at the University of Nebraska Lincoln,
[00:07:36.580]to honor and acknowledge the Pawnee, the Ponca,
[00:07:39.950]the Otoe-Missouria, the Umonhon, Omaha,
[00:07:43.500]Dakota, Lakota, Arapaho,
[00:07:47.347]and Suda, Cheyenne and Kaw peoples,
[00:07:52.010]as well as the relocated Ho-Chunk,
[00:07:54.350]Iowa and SAC and Fox peoples.
[00:07:57.730]These homelands now reside,
[00:08:01.190]whose homelands now reside the campuses
[00:08:03.700]and programs of the university.
[00:08:09.690]As well I want to acknowledge
[00:08:12.560]where I come from,
[00:08:14.270]the cities in the Los Angeles County sit
[00:08:16.850]on the following tribal lands,
[00:08:19.790]the Santana's band of Chumash Indians,
[00:08:23.657]the Wishtoyo Chumash,
[00:08:25.000]the Gabrielino-Tongva Nation,
[00:08:27.550]the Kits Nation,
[00:08:31.830]band of mission Indians.
[00:08:34.590]As well I want to acknowledge the family
[00:08:37.550]of my ancestors in Mexico.
[00:08:41.890]And that's from the states of Sonora, Coauhila,
[00:08:45.452]Guanajuato and Guerrero.
[00:08:47.690]I want to acknowledge the Cahita and the Mayo
[00:08:51.330]and Yaki Indians,
[00:08:53.300]the Opatan group, the Pima group, the Tohono group.
[00:09:00.760]And with that,
[00:09:02.740]I'm going to Gloria Anzaldua,
[00:09:06.320]for ritual blessing for transformation.
[00:09:12.730]So I'm going to lead everyone,
[00:09:15.080]and I am honored to do this, let us begin.
[00:09:22.670]You face east, feel the wind calm your hair,
[00:09:27.480]stretch your hands toward the rising sun
[00:09:29.940]and it's orange filaments,
[00:09:31.780]breathe it's rays into your body,
[00:09:33.910]on the out breath send your soul up to El Sol.
[00:09:39.450]Moving sunwise turn to the south,
[00:09:43.510]fuego inspire and energize us to do the necessary work,
[00:09:48.170]and to honor it as we walk
[00:09:49.890]through the flames of transformation,
[00:09:52.510]may we seize the arrogance to create outrageously,
[00:09:56.983](indistinct) wildly for the world becomes as we dream it.
[00:10:01.660]Facing west, you send your consciousness skimming
[00:10:05.260]over the waves toward the horizon,
[00:10:07.630]seamless sea and sky slipping your hands into (indistinct) .
[00:10:13.760]You speak to the spirit dwelling here in
[00:10:18.500]may we honor other people's feelings,
[00:10:21.650]respect their anger, sadness, grief, joy,
[00:10:25.500]as we do our own.
[00:10:27.600]Though we tremble before uncertain futures,
[00:10:30.450]may we meet illness, death,
[00:10:32.320]and adversity with strength.
[00:10:34.340]May we dance in the face of our fears.
[00:10:37.620]You pivot toward the north,
[00:10:40.380]squat, scoop sand into your hands.
[00:10:43.576](speaking foreign language)
[00:10:44.866]You who are our body who bear us into life,
[00:10:48.530]swallow us in death.
[00:10:50.320]Forgive us for poisoning your lands,
[00:10:53.028]guide us to wiser ways of caring for you.
[00:10:57.300]May we possess the steadfastness of trees,
[00:11:00.520]the quiet serenity of dawn,
[00:11:03.000]the brilliance of a flashing star,
[00:11:05.580]the fluidity of fish in our element.
[00:11:08.040]Earth, you who dream us
[00:11:10.469](speaking foreign language)
[00:11:12.940]Completing the circle.
[00:11:15.204](speaking foreign language)
[00:11:16.990]Look down to the underworld.
[00:11:19.000]May the roaring force of our collective creativity,
[00:11:21.960]heal the wounds of hate, ignorance,
[00:11:24.400]indifference, dissolve the divisions,
[00:11:27.007]creating chasms between us,
[00:11:29.652]open our throats, so we who fear speaking out,
[00:11:34.080]raise our voices by our witnessing,
[00:11:37.183]find connections through our passions,
[00:11:39.690]pay homage to those whose backs served as bridges.
[00:11:45.080]We are ready for change.
[00:11:47.870]Let us link hands and hearts, build bridges.
[00:11:52.470]Cross them with grace,
[00:11:54.540]claim these (speaking foreign language) are home.
[00:11:57.346](speaking foreign language)
[00:12:04.510]Now let us shift.
[00:12:07.560]And with that,
[00:12:08.480]John asked for an object we shared over the weekend.
[00:12:14.440]I brought this object.
[00:12:16.740]This object actually has been in my family
[00:12:21.300]and it's native peoples holding a cross
[00:12:26.290]which to me symbolizes,
[00:12:29.215]the heaviness and colonization of religion
[00:12:33.920]that has oppressed for so many years,
[00:12:38.710]the so many indigenous tribes.
[00:12:45.060]John, back to you course.
[00:12:48.770]Yeah, thank you, Amelia.
[00:12:50.130]It's kind of hard to see your object
[00:12:53.830]because we're looking
[00:12:54.663]at this big land acknowledgements,
[00:12:56.100]performance or praxis screen.
[00:12:58.900]I don't have any control over there,
[00:13:03.224]Tomny, Are you next?
[00:13:10.212]Yes, I'll be next,
[00:13:11.078]and I just wanna let people know
[00:13:12.462]that you're going to be seeing different backdrops
[00:13:14.980]from me and what you now see is my dog, Annie.
[00:13:19.160]Some of you may know of her, in Pioneers Park.
[00:13:24.160]And one of the first things I wanted to know,
[00:13:26.160]was whose lands were these?
[00:13:28.520]Who were the stewards of this space,
[00:13:30.790]renamed Pioneers Park.
[00:13:33.210]And I don't know,
[00:13:34.640]but it looks like it might have been Otoe-Missouria.
[00:13:37.350]And I think that's an example of today,
[00:13:39.700]of how colonialism is with us.
[00:13:42.730]As far as the object, this is one of my objects.
[00:13:47.160]It's a gift given to me by my mother,
[00:13:51.008]she passed going on two years ago,
[00:13:52.500]she collected angels
[00:13:55.160]and initially of her angels were white.
[00:13:58.020]Now I love this little angel cause she gave it to me
[00:14:00.457]and it's kind of like a childlike goofy angel,
[00:14:03.780]and she chose it for me,
[00:14:05.940]but I grew up, now it's different,
[00:14:07.940]but I grew up in a space
[00:14:09.200]where I couldn't buy greeting cards
[00:14:11.040]for my mother, with people who looked like her.
[00:14:14.020]I'm glad that has changed.
[00:14:16.450]But I also went on
[00:14:17.580]to make sure she had a diversity of angels
[00:14:20.700]because there was a preponderance
[00:14:22.300]of angels who were white.
[00:14:24.810]What does that do to your brain
[00:14:27.140]when you can't imagine diverse angels?
[00:14:29.750]And the second thing quickly,
[00:14:31.020]this is water from the lightning storm
[00:14:36.000]that happened at Standing Rock.
[00:14:39.770]So it's very special to me
[00:14:41.830]cause it comes from the sky,
[00:14:43.630]connects with the land
[00:14:45.950]and also connects with a recent space
[00:14:52.738]of protecting the water.
[00:15:02.040]I'm gonna go next
[00:15:02.930]because Dr. Yellow Robe kind of wanted to go last,
[00:15:06.690]which is cool.
[00:15:09.430]So I, as I mentioned, was an adopted person
[00:15:13.227]and it was a transracial adoption.
[00:15:15.750]I identify as a multiracial African American.
[00:15:19.560]The little bit that I know about my biological family is
[00:15:22.380]that my mother, my birth mother was of Norwegian, French,
[00:15:28.010]Irish and English descent.
[00:15:30.040]So she was white and my birth father was described
[00:15:34.100]in the file as a light skinned Negro.
[00:15:38.600]That's what they said back in 1960.
[00:15:42.780]And then I was adopted into a white,
[00:15:44.400]very liberal Unitarian, you know, Protestant family.
[00:15:50.730]And so as somebody working
[00:15:53.730]at a land grant institution,
[00:15:55.740]which is where we are,
[00:15:57.340]I have tried to take very seriously leadership
[00:16:01.100]from indigenous colleagues and scholars and friends
[00:16:05.020]to situate my work and what I'm doing,
[00:16:08.630]my practice more in a location, a specific place,
[00:16:13.780]and also to take decolonization seriously.
[00:16:17.810]And not just as a metaphor,
[00:16:19.930]as Eve Tuck and Wayne Yang said,
[00:16:22.067]"Decolonization is not a metaphor,
[00:16:24.120]it has to be real."
[00:16:25.150]We have to really enact it,
[00:16:26.940]and part of enacting it is taking seriously the notion
[00:16:30.470]and practice of land back.
[00:16:33.070]I don't think we can talk
[00:16:34.390]about land acknowledgements
[00:16:36.451]or decolonization without seriously thinking about,
[00:16:40.147]"Okay, when are we giving back stewardship of the land?"
[00:16:44.620]So, I just wanted to put that
[00:16:46.250]out there as an opening comment.
[00:16:47.640]The other thing that I've thought about,
[00:16:49.015]is try to think about decolonization,
[00:16:54.440]not just thinking about it, but how is it embodied?
[00:16:57.160]How is historical trauma embodied in my own being
[00:17:00.690]and in the beings of my loved ones.
[00:17:02.990]So as a displaced person who has been colonized
[00:17:07.560]in multiple ways, as a person of color,
[00:17:11.000]as a queer person, as an adoptee,
[00:17:15.060]who is denied access to my heritage
[00:17:17.520]and medical history and, you know,
[00:17:19.770]I know I have siblings,
[00:17:20.950]but I'm not allowed to find them
[00:17:22.400]or connect with them
[00:17:23.840]because of the laws of child removal
[00:17:27.240]from the battle days of adoption.
[00:17:28.770]So all of these ways are,
[00:17:32.490]examples of how I am still being colonized.
[00:17:35.700]And so now I get to think
[00:17:37.120]about what can I do to decolonize that?
[00:17:39.310]So the two objects that I'm bringing and so far,
[00:17:41.970]I think it's interesting that Amelia and Tomny and I,
[00:17:44.870]are all sharing objects that were given to us.
[00:17:47.990]So I think I need to stop sharing this background
[00:17:52.410]so you can see my objects a little better.
[00:17:56.060]So through the pandemic, I'm bringing medicine.
[00:18:00.380]I don't know if you can see that,
[00:18:01.340]I have a braid of sweet grass
[00:18:02.720]that was given to me
[00:18:04.600]by a dear friend who gathered it
[00:18:06.730]from her homeland in Montana,
[00:18:09.490]and also throughout the pandemic
[00:18:12.900]and the racial justice crisis,
[00:18:14.450]I sought healing from a woman healer
[00:18:18.400]who gave me medicine that I take every day.
[00:18:22.970]And I'm sharing those because it's a nice blend
[00:18:25.390]and balance of indigenous ways of healing
[00:18:28.320]and restoring balance and more western medicine,
[00:18:31.670]ways of doing the same thing.
[00:18:33.330]And that really speaks to my own self-care regimen,
[00:18:37.947]which I see as an act of decolonization,
[00:18:39.650]I think for all of us as BIPOC people,
[00:18:41.630]or you don't have to be BIPOC,
[00:18:43.100]all of us that are living
[00:18:45.780]in a settler colonial context,
[00:18:49.290]I would argue have been traumatized by that,
[00:18:51.210]whether we know it or not,
[00:18:52.590]and we need to root out the effects of that,
[00:18:58.570]those traumas from our bodies and our psyches.
[00:19:01.690]So those are my objects that I've shared.
[00:19:05.620]I will pass it on to Dr. Yellow Robe.
[00:19:09.790]Okay, great, nice, beautiful.
[00:19:11.760]Thank you doctors, thus far wonderful job.
[00:19:15.943]I will go back and share a teaching
[00:19:19.704]with our guests now who have joined us today.
[00:19:22.800]I insisted that my dear mentors, friends,
[00:19:26.610]my relatives on this call with me go first,
[00:19:29.270]because that was how I was brought up,
[00:19:31.970]as a Northern Cheyenne girl and woman,
[00:19:34.840]you offer to your guests first.
[00:19:36.740]It's not about you, it's never about you,
[00:19:39.280]and you are my guests and my relatives,
[00:19:42.440]regardless of where you hail from.
[00:19:45.120]And that doesn't threaten me,
[00:19:47.070]that doesn't threaten what I have.
[00:19:48.850]And that is probably one of the core things we have
[00:19:52.030]to start understanding about land acknowledgements,
[00:19:53.920]is it's much deeper than that.
[00:19:55.700]It's starting to reckon
[00:19:57.870]and understand our own culpability
[00:20:00.850]and that mindset of greed or competition,
[00:20:04.690]which I'm going to throw some shade just to keep it light.
[00:20:08.760]I know we know that in higher ed,
[00:20:10.430]I know we know
[00:20:12.050]that competitive destructive lateral violence.
[00:20:15.710]So I appreciate all of you affording me the chance
[00:20:18.870]to let you all go first,
[00:20:20.260]although they insisted that I go first.
[00:20:22.320]So it was an interesting meeting,
[00:20:24.600]we did well though.
[00:20:25.730]So here we are.
[00:20:27.340]So another teaching or background I wanna share is,
[00:20:30.650]let's think about the land, Mother Earth,
[00:20:33.960]as a lot of us in our tribal nations,
[00:20:36.770]indigenous tribes, refer to her,
[00:20:38.640]as feminine, woman, well Mother Earth.
[00:20:43.630]And so growing up,
[00:20:44.570]I was taught like many of you probably were taught
[00:20:47.330]in your own tribal ways
[00:20:48.600]that you are always being watched,
[00:20:50.352]so you need to conduct yourself as such.
[00:20:53.750]You need to walk your walk
[00:20:55.230]so that it's in a good way
[00:20:57.020]because someone, usually your elders,
[00:20:59.580]are going to watch you
[00:21:01.410]and you will be subjected to correction at any time.
[00:21:05.520]And that's part of how we learned,
[00:21:07.080]so there wasn't a fear of making a mistake,
[00:21:10.870]which we could probably bring back to education,
[00:21:12.910]but that's a different seminar.
[00:21:13.950]Maybe next year we'll do that.
[00:21:15.880]So when I was young, you know,
[00:21:17.360]that was real abstract, cause I was like,
[00:21:18.930]what is she trying to teach me my mother or ?
[00:21:22.177]You're just kinda like,
[00:21:23.010]"Okay, so I'm just gonna be compelled into obligation."
[00:21:26.120]And she started teaching me our line.
[00:21:28.930]So my grandmother or Mary Dollknife,
[00:21:32.250]who was the daughter of Pony Woman
[00:21:34.110]and chief Dollknife
[00:21:35.890]or Morning Star of my tribes
[00:21:38.190]to test us and sit by people,
[00:21:40.960]had my grandma Alice (indistinct) .
[00:21:43.480]And so my mom was always taking it back
[00:21:45.390]to grandmothers, mothers, Mother Earth,
[00:21:48.340]be respectful and be very careful how you're walking
[00:21:51.980]and treating your family, the women in your family,
[00:21:55.700]and in particular,
[00:21:56.650]the land that we're growing up on,
[00:21:58.510]it will treat you well.
[00:22:01.510]So these critical lessons taught me by now,
[00:22:04.730]my stage in my career is,
[00:22:05.990]oh, so I was learning social justice warrior stuff,
[00:22:09.480]well be before it was a catch phrase
[00:22:11.630]or well before it became a hashtag.
[00:22:14.010]And I'm very grateful to the matrix in my family,
[00:22:16.600]and I hope that's something that each of you can look to
[00:22:18.830]cause you probably have those teachings
[00:22:21.230]in your families as well.
[00:22:22.939]And I'm still being held to a high standard,
[00:22:26.490]don't worry my mother's still with us,
[00:22:28.750]and I'm very grateful.
[00:22:30.710]So if anyone's gonna tell her what I said,
[00:22:32.960]she'll let me know if I've made a mistake.
[00:22:36.040]So you're welcome to do that.
[00:22:38.600]And since I'm traveling,
[00:22:41.160]I like to bring my medallion with me,
[00:22:43.610]my family gifted this to me,
[00:22:46.150]which was very kind of them to do,
[00:22:47.810]so in my ways you earn things,
[00:22:50.680]you don't just go out and ask for a big, you know,
[00:22:53.950]fancy regal, you have to earn it,
[00:22:55.850]and it's part of your walk and that's our morning star,
[00:22:58.210]so that's our sacred symbol
[00:23:01.030]and I will pass the baton back.
[00:23:06.550]Thank you everyone.
[00:23:09.910]Thank you, Colette.
[00:23:16.920]So I wanted to share an idea,
[00:23:19.340]I've been thinking about my ambivalent feelings
[00:23:22.410]about land acknowledgements,
[00:23:23.860]like part of me thinks,
[00:23:24.730]yes, finally we're doing it
[00:23:26.470]and it's we need to do it,
[00:23:28.260]but I'm also in the group,
[00:23:29.910]that's a little bit skeptical.
[00:23:31.930]Like, are we just doing this as a university at events,
[00:23:35.050]big events to kind of score points
[00:23:37.890]or look woke or whatever,
[00:23:41.024]do we really mean it? You know,
[00:23:43.190]and so I,
[00:23:44.290]I feel about land acknowledgements the way I kind of feel
[00:23:47.350]about black history month
[00:23:49.310]as a person in the African diaspora,
[00:23:51.850]like it's obviously necessary
[00:23:53.640]and we need it because black history has been erased
[00:23:56.530]and made invisible and marginalized
[00:23:58.550]and put in its own silo.
[00:24:00.840]And in, you know, among my black friends and colleagues,
[00:24:03.640]we joke I'm sure you've heard,
[00:24:05.490]like why did they give us the shortest, you know,
[00:24:07.540]month of the year,
[00:24:08.970]February that only has 28 days or 29 sometimes.
[00:24:13.460]But also appreciating that we are saying,
[00:24:16.530]you know, we celebrate black history,
[00:24:19.040]we in my family and in the black community,
[00:24:21.480]we celebrate black history every day of the year.
[00:24:24.490]And so it's nice to set aside a time
[00:24:27.130]where maybe the spotlight is on black history,
[00:24:29.510]but that doesn't mean we're not doing black history
[00:24:31.880]or making black history in the other months
[00:24:34.620]that are not named February.
[00:24:36.350]And I guess that relates
[00:24:38.560]to how I feel about land acknowledge,
[00:24:40.510]like, okay, so every now and then at a big event,
[00:24:43.370]we're gonna do a public land acknowledgement,
[00:24:45.720]which is necessary.
[00:24:47.640]And hopefully it means more than just,
[00:24:49.850]you know, okay,
[00:24:50.683]we're paying lip service to it
[00:24:52.600]or we're giving a nod to it,
[00:24:53.840]the way we do in black history month.
[00:24:55.190]Yeah, we're gonna talk about Harriet Tubman
[00:24:56.650]and Martin Luther King for a few days,
[00:24:58.320]and then we're gonna go back to talking
[00:24:59.810]about George Washington and Jefferson Davis
[00:25:01.830]and all the really important people.
[00:25:03.640]So I hope that we can kind of unsettle
[00:25:06.410]and disturb that kind of practice
[00:25:08.410]of land acknowledgements.
[00:25:10.530]I am a fan, I think it's high time
[00:25:12.300]that we do it, so don't get me wrong.
[00:25:14.210]And especially if our indigenous friends
[00:25:16.280]and allies call for it,
[00:25:18.410]then we absolutely should be doing it.
[00:25:20.550]And I would like to hear people talk
[00:25:22.110]about who should do the land acknowledgement.
[00:25:24.320]I've seen it done in a bunch of different ways
[00:25:26.260]in different context.
[00:25:27.160]Sometimes it's an indigenous person
[00:25:28.890]from that particular homeland
[00:25:30.550]where the conference is taking place.
[00:25:32.460]And sometimes it's a settler or immigrant person
[00:25:35.980]that is acknowledging their complicity with colonization.
[00:25:39.730]So I don't know if the panel
[00:25:41.530]or people in the audience have ideas about that,
[00:25:43.570]who should really do the acknowledging?
[00:25:48.198]Thank you, John.
[00:25:49.410]I'd like to also jump in,
[00:25:51.150]in regard to land acknowledgements
[00:25:52.950]and their complexities.
[00:25:55.690]I think it's a good stop, a good start,
[00:25:58.490]a step to take,
[00:26:00.190]to at least learn the names of the people.
[00:26:03.140]So if you can see behind me, that's Virginia.
[00:26:07.660]I didn't know, I was never taught the names
[00:26:10.910]of the peoples whose lands I walked upon.
[00:26:16.000]And it seems in my situation,
[00:26:17.820]Petersburg was Apamatak,
[00:26:20.000]but that wasn't taught to me.
[00:26:23.090]Another problem that I have,
[00:26:25.853]is that today I looked up the standards of learning.
[00:26:28.660]That's the state tax test in Virginia.
[00:26:31.680]And I found for 2015,
[00:26:33.710]you'll see it behind me in a moment
[00:26:36.150]that even there there's,
[00:26:39.999]a conspicuous absence of stories told
[00:26:44.280]by and from the vantage point of indigenous peoples.
[00:26:47.930]So if you're gonna have a land acknowledgement,
[00:26:50.050]but you're not gonna also hear from the peoples,
[00:26:54.240]the descendants of the peoples,
[00:26:56.040]whose lands you walk upon,
[00:26:59.470]I mean, then the step stops with the acknowledgement.
[00:27:03.740]The last thing I wanna say
[00:27:05.120]and leave room for other panelists to speak is,
[00:27:07.270]I've now been in three countries
[00:27:09.819]that have indigenous populations,
[00:27:13.400]and there were land acknowledgements in two of them.
[00:27:16.310]So one being the U.S, the other being Australia.
[00:27:21.444]And I remember experiencing
[00:27:25.130]that land acknowledgement done
[00:27:27.200]by some of the Aboriginal people.
[00:27:28.930]I was like, this is so powerful,
[00:27:32.342]and I wanted to know more.
[00:27:34.570]And I noticed the disconnect
[00:27:36.270]between the land acknowledgement
[00:27:37.940]of the Aboriginal people done by Aboriginal peoples
[00:27:41.108]and the poverty rate of Aboriginal peoples.
[00:27:43.952]Do we get those disconnects?
[00:27:45.850]Do we get what land theft means?
[00:27:48.450]And then in, in Sweden, where the Sami folk,
[00:27:52.463]I have never seen a land acknowledgement done.
[00:27:55.830]So I think that situation is far more problematic
[00:27:58.580]because you're not at least naming.
[00:28:00.620]So I do agree it's complex, but it's a start,
[00:28:04.200]and people seem to think of it as one and done.
[00:28:06.740]If they do that's problematic for me.
[00:28:09.260]And as far as what next, what's restorative,
[00:28:12.450]then we need to be in conversation
[00:28:14.220]with indigenous peoples, original nation peoples.
[00:28:20.051]And the next thing you're gonna see
[00:28:20.884]behind me is the standards of learning,
[00:28:23.800]which have very little reference
[00:28:25.470]to indigenous people from Virginia.
[00:28:28.760]Oh, and this is John Smith's trail,
[00:28:30.990]you see that?
[00:28:31.823]So I was talking about Pioneers Park
[00:28:35.110]and now John Smith's trail,
[00:28:38.060]like John Smith discovered that trail.
[00:28:41.360]That's what it's called today.
[00:28:42.930]That's colonization today.
[00:28:47.616]Thank you Tomny,
[00:28:49.154]and thank you, John.
[00:28:51.040]I agree with the importance
[00:28:54.960]and also the caution to land acknowledgements.
[00:28:59.842]I think what has been important
[00:29:03.600]about land acknowledgements is
[00:29:05.440]to finally give voice,
[00:29:11.881]and well to give voice to native tribes,
[00:29:14.940]because even my students have said,
[00:29:17.957]"Well, I didn't know there were so many tribes."
[00:29:20.660]They think it was just one.
[00:29:26.090]The other, is I grew up, as I said,
[00:29:29.090]in Los Angeles and California,
[00:29:31.450]and during the 20th
[00:29:34.566]and the beginning of the 21st century,
[00:29:37.430]elementary schools including mine,
[00:29:39.999]catholic school were often taught
[00:29:43.420]about Father Juniperro Serra,
[00:29:47.109]who went up the coast of California,
[00:29:52.080]21 outposts as they're called,
[00:29:55.550]where along the way he would take tribes,
[00:30:00.230]and then the tribes are the ones
[00:30:02.630]who built these missions, these 21 missions.
[00:30:05.200]So between 1769 and 1833,
[00:30:09.260]you had pretty much genocide
[00:30:12.230]at the hands of the Catholic priests,
[00:30:18.172]led by Father Juniperro Serra,
[00:30:20.770]and any of them did not survive.
[00:30:23.840]So it's important, it's very important
[00:30:27.520]to understand that history
[00:30:29.430]because people know Father Juniperro Serra,
[00:30:33.040]but they don't know the tribes,
[00:30:35.010]that's why we need land acknowledgement.
[00:30:38.782]I spent a couple of years in Maine
[00:30:43.520]and just returned,
[00:30:46.150]and I also want to acknowledge that the Penobscot,
[00:30:50.260]the Passamaquoddy, the Maliseet,
[00:30:52.506]and the Miꞌkmaq in those areas as well.
[00:30:56.640]Whenever I can to bring voice to the indigenous tribes
[00:31:00.840]and the tribal lands,
[00:31:01.950]at the same time as John says,
[00:31:03.687]"Are we just going to name them?
[00:31:05.711]What else are we going to do?"
[00:31:07.970]I also want to acknowledge, thank goodness,
[00:31:12.140]our Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland,
[00:31:16.280]and Martha Williams, who just this past Saturday,
[00:31:21.210]the report was,
[00:31:24.187]that they were celebrating the native tribe,
[00:31:28.210]the Rappahannock tribe, a native tribe in Virginia,
[00:31:32.310]who has reacquired 465 acres
[00:31:36.500]of sacred land at Fones cliff.
[00:31:39.680]And Martha Williams says,
[00:31:42.017]"We have worked for many years to restore
[00:31:45.610]this sacred place to the tribe."
[00:31:47.820]I'm sorry, the person who said
[00:31:50.500]that was the Rappahannock tribe chief, Anne Richardson.
[00:31:54.437]"With eagles being prayer messengers,
[00:31:57.120]this area where they gather has always been a place
[00:31:59.710]of natural cultural and spiritual importance."
[00:32:02.030]So I'm very glad that this is happening
[00:32:05.460]and I hope it continues to happen.
[00:32:08.520]And it is not a reacquiring of owning,
[00:32:15.530]but of stewardship,
[00:32:17.060]and John, you were talking about
[00:32:18.730]that this weekend too,
[00:32:19.850]about the importance of stewardship
[00:32:22.080]and honoring the land and what that means.
[00:32:24.800]Yeah, thank you.
[00:32:33.560]Dr. Yellow Robe, are you wanting to share?
[00:32:38.190]Yeah, sure, absolutely, yes.
[00:32:40.130]And I'm glad Dr. Montes has reminded us of that
[00:32:45.520]because that's important, the stewardship,
[00:32:49.170]but let's go back a little bit,
[00:32:51.030]I wanna share a couple of points.
[00:32:55.540]It's good when we share the lands
[00:32:58.110]that we come from
[00:32:59.810]and then the lands that were on.
[00:33:01.830]So a practice that I tend to do wherever I travel,
[00:33:06.060]and I was thinking back,
[00:33:08.250]I don't even know when I started doing this,
[00:33:10.710]probably when I could afford to travel,
[00:33:12.540]or when I convinced someone
[00:33:13.730]to buy a plane ticket for me, whatever,
[00:33:16.020]as a poor res kid,
[00:33:17.540]I would always be curious
[00:33:19.240]about what tribes were once there,
[00:33:20.530]cause I already knew what I learned in school was wrong.
[00:33:23.420]I knew that much at least.
[00:33:27.100]And then I committed to it, no matter where I would go,
[00:33:30.047]and so I'll do the same
[00:33:31.360]when I'm down here this week.
[00:33:34.570]I share that because it's not terribly difficult to do.
[00:33:40.880]It just requires talking to people,
[00:33:43.080]but I guess that's difficult for people to do,
[00:33:44.910]but you may have to interact with those in that area.
[00:33:48.570]There are natives, wherever you go.
[00:33:50.862]We are everywhere on this earth,
[00:33:53.450]which is why I shared my medallion, my symbol,
[00:33:56.780]no matter where I go, I'm Northern Cheyenne,
[00:33:58.820]that's not gonna change, it's one and the same.
[00:34:02.220]So I will coexist in a different community.
[00:34:05.900]So when I first moved to Lincoln,
[00:34:07.370]I didn't try to start bossing around,
[00:34:09.510]the tribes that were there.
[00:34:11.840]You wanna talk about colonizing?
[00:34:12.900]I've seen people do that.
[00:34:14.210]Some tribal people do that.
[00:34:15.240]You know, I was taught to coexist or collaborate.
[00:34:20.090]Secondly, I wanna give another practical or praxis
[00:34:24.340]as Dr. John pointed out to us,
[00:34:26.760]I will speak to you all as a professional at the university.
[00:34:30.680]I am one of, I think we're about,
[00:34:34.710]I'd have to check the stats.
[00:34:36.320]It's less than 10 native American staff on campus.
[00:34:40.830]So that's why I didn't, you know,
[00:34:42.150]stress out out this morning trying
[00:34:43.860]to double check that fact, check myself,
[00:34:45.640]cause I know it's less than 10
[00:34:46.473]cause I probably know all of them.
[00:34:48.850]Dr. Gay being one of them on here today,
[00:34:50.940]and my dear friend, Joe,
[00:34:52.610]who's at this conference with me,
[00:34:54.090]my colleague in trio.
[00:34:55.870]Okay, that's three of us for sure.
[00:34:58.450]And I know that there's three,
[00:35:00.773]native American studies professors
[00:35:03.970]and then another professor and extension.
[00:35:08.090]So when this started, this movement here, you know,
[00:35:10.860]Nebraska or this area of the Plains, the Midwest,
[00:35:13.970]when we started doing land acknowledgements,
[00:35:17.070]our friends out east and out west,
[00:35:19.240]they were already doing those at conferences.
[00:35:21.320]I would go to nothing related to Indian education
[00:35:23.910]and they were performing to land acknowledgements, right?
[00:35:27.290]So when it hit out here, I had a choice.
[00:35:30.300]I started getting all these emails
[00:35:32.450]from my colleagues or people who moved, you know,
[00:35:35.250]like from Kent state or wherever.
[00:35:37.570]And they were like,
[00:35:38.403]"Can you help me do a better land acknowledgement
[00:35:40.450]for my department?"
[00:35:41.620]So I had to choose either I could say,
[00:35:44.747]"No, I don't have time for that.
[00:35:46.140]You know how overworked I am anyway
[00:35:47.980]as the only Northern Cheyenne
[00:35:49.370]in my division for about a decade."
[00:35:51.820]Or I could choose to share my culture.
[00:35:56.550]So I'm warning all of you.
[00:35:58.550]Sometimes when we do these things,
[00:36:00.270]we don't understand the impact on native people.
[00:36:05.550]It's not just a history lesson
[00:36:07.630]or it's not just a little tagline
[00:36:11.870]at the bottom of a website.
[00:36:13.190]This is us you're talking about,
[00:36:15.800]these are our ancestors and our future.
[00:36:19.303]our children and grandchildren who are gonna inherit this.
[00:36:21.500]So really be cognizant of that.
[00:36:25.110]So I'm not complaining to all of you.
[00:36:27.271]I'm far beyond that by now.
[00:36:31.150]So I'm not saying the checks and bills
[00:36:33.240]in the mail to anyone,
[00:36:34.200]I'm not threatening anyone.
[00:36:35.360]What I'm trying to say
[00:36:36.193]to you is I have averaged 2.5 meetings
[00:36:39.670]in the last year and nine months devoted
[00:36:42.930]to land acknowledgements or some form of it.
[00:36:46.910]That is not an underestimate.
[00:36:50.430]And I choose to do that because I want my excuse of term,
[00:36:54.230]but non tribal, non-native or whatever,
[00:36:56.900]people I want, my friends,
[00:36:58.640]my colleagues to feel supported
[00:37:00.810]because I already know they didn't get this in school,
[00:37:03.130]I already know, I know that.
[00:37:05.860]And oftentimes they feel bad.
[00:37:09.610]And so when I'm working with them on these meetings,
[00:37:11.910]I'm like, "I need you to get mad about it."
[00:37:15.520]Cause this is not just against my people or me.
[00:37:18.230]It's not about me, it's about you too.
[00:37:21.560]And land acknowledgements,
[00:37:23.550]I believe can be done by non-natives as well.
[00:37:25.940]And I will stand behind that.
[00:37:27.500]That's why I wasn't trying to show off
[00:37:29.570]and go first on this thing, it's not about me.
[00:37:32.740]So I'm in real big (indistinct) mode today,
[00:37:35.820]I'm just really (indistinct) , John so.
[00:37:38.030]Good, we love it.
[00:37:40.070]Niche it off to you.
[00:37:41.286]This is the Colette we love.
[00:37:44.500]Yeah, so I, you know,
[00:37:47.120]in multicultural education and anti-racism education,
[00:37:50.240]we talk a lot about--
[00:37:51.977]I just wanna say we got about 15 minutes left.
[00:37:53.980]Yeah, I'll be quick.
[00:37:55.100]But building on what Dr. Yellow Robe was saying,
[00:38:00.670]what's the responsibility of the ally
[00:38:02.810]to do the heavy lifting as opposed
[00:38:04.430]to waiting for the person in the marginalized
[00:38:06.870]and oppressed group to do the work.
[00:38:08.270]That's what I was thinking about
[00:38:09.300]as I was listening to Colette,
[00:38:11.400]which is why I like to see settlers grapple
[00:38:13.730]with the land acknowledgement
[00:38:15.277]and cause you're acknowledging your own complicity
[00:38:18.090]with colonization as well
[00:38:20.390]as acknowledging the people
[00:38:22.320]who were the original stewards of the land.
[00:38:23.980]That's all I wanted to say.
[00:38:25.200]Yeah, let me just add real quick,
[00:38:26.770]and since I constantly heard people say,
[00:38:28.727]"Well my great, great,
[00:38:30.420]great grandmother or grandfather,
[00:38:32.770]you know, tilled this land."
[00:38:34.900]Well, if you're gonna make those types of claims,
[00:38:37.670]which are true,
[00:38:38.510]I'm not denying their truth
[00:38:40.221]about hundreds or fifties of years,
[00:38:44.670]what about millennia?
[00:38:46.410]What about people who walked
[00:38:47.990]for millennia on the land
[00:38:50.060]and their descendants are still with us?
[00:38:58.830]I think we have time for Q and A.
[00:39:04.530]Yes. Thank you.
[00:39:07.100]Oh, go ahead, Dr. Montes.
[00:39:09.645]No there are some people who have written
[00:39:13.310]in the chat that I hope you read their comments.
[00:39:20.300]Yes I can begin,
[00:39:22.219]and yes we are going to start the Q and A
[00:39:26.040]and as Dylan mentioned,
[00:39:27.320]please enter that into the chat and then we'll read it.
[00:39:33.170]We have a comment from Emily Levine who says,
[00:39:36.721]"After many months of consideration,
[00:39:39.199]I've come to fear the temporal
[00:39:41.897]and geographic breadth of current land acknowledgement,
[00:39:45.140]falls prey to the trap of trying to do everything
[00:39:48.270]and thereby ending up doing nothing.
[00:39:50.580]The litany of tribes, lack meeting and impact.
[00:39:54.150]And I think specifically would have more impact
[00:39:56.820]to develop UNL land acknowledgement
[00:39:59.320]and replace the Nebraska university one
[00:40:01.710]or the N.U. one,
[00:40:02.580]UNL's campuses as well
[00:40:04.050]as many of its major properties are in or near Lincoln.
[00:40:08.988]Instead of the long list of tribes
[00:40:10.990]that most people know nothing about,
[00:40:12.560]and to which by listing add little
[00:40:14.670]to our knowledge or understanding,
[00:40:16.170]we could just say strongly and clearly we are
[00:40:18.750]on Otoe land or Otoe-Missouria, if you prefer.
[00:40:23.480]And what I'd love to see is everyone who does
[00:40:26.010]that land acknowledgement would need to follow it
[00:40:29.090]with a simple statement saying one thing
[00:40:30.770]about tribe, culturally,
[00:40:32.480]historically, linguistically whatever."
[00:40:34.790]And so that was a comment,
[00:40:35.910]and then if panelists would like to respond to that,
[00:40:40.210]now there's another one too,
[00:40:41.910]and some questions are coming in,
[00:40:43.390]but I'll allow that for now, please.
[00:40:47.550]Okay, we acknowledge,
[00:40:49.010]I think Nicole had good words,
[00:40:51.940]she's our dear friend's daughter,
[00:40:53.680]she's been brought up pretty well,
[00:40:55.010]can we read that one too?
[00:40:56.550]Thank you, Nicole.
[00:41:04.720]Because I think that was a good if I read that right.
[00:41:08.439]You wanna go ahead and read it?
[00:41:10.300]Nicole says, "My opinion,
[00:41:12.093]that with acknowledgement
[00:41:14.070]of those tribal people who currently occupy
[00:41:17.420]and have previously occupied the land,
[00:41:20.150]those that continue to do the work
[00:41:22.310]for their community daily and
[00:41:23.931]those who are present today at the event,
[00:41:27.500]also sharing how to support the work being done
[00:41:31.310]in the area and in the area you are from,
[00:41:36.370]different or differ."
[00:41:41.920]Yeah, my apology, I didn't scroll far enough up.
[00:41:44.720]Thank you for that.
[00:41:50.370]Well, I see both comments,
[00:41:52.517]questions calling for, you know,
[00:41:54.650]what have you done for me lately?
[00:41:57.890]Right? I mean, what we doing to respect in,
[00:42:03.550]the original nations
[00:42:04.840]of Turtle Island right here, right now,
[00:42:08.760]this again, one and done is very dismissive.
[00:42:13.521]It's a step, but it's just too little.
[00:42:17.630]And so I don't know that I have anything
[00:42:19.690]to differ with the comments.
[00:42:20.910]I agree with them a 100%.
[00:42:24.690]Yeah. I agree with them too,
[00:42:26.930]and that's one reason why,
[00:42:28.996]I have never put a land acknowledgement on my email.
[00:42:33.260]I don't know, that's just me.
[00:42:35.250]It's fine if other people do it,
[00:42:36.930]but I have really pause to do that.
[00:42:41.080]I'd rather do that,
[00:42:43.420]my work in the classroom,
[00:42:45.600]where I have, as Emily says,
[00:42:47.940]who are, you know, it's fine to have these lists,
[00:42:51.130]you know, these list of names mean nothing,
[00:42:53.640]if you do not know who they are.
[00:42:55.850]And so in my curriculums,
[00:42:58.100]especially in my ethnic studies courses,
[00:43:01.740]I have them look at, okay, who are the Otoe?
[00:43:05.950]Who are the Missouri? You know, the Otoe-Missouria
[00:43:09.310]or, you know, other tribes, especially if we're reading,
[00:43:14.570]for instance, Joy Harjo, you don't just say,
[00:43:17.897]"Okay, we're reading a poem
[00:43:19.310]by Joy Harjo who's native American."
[00:43:21.680]Well, what does that mean?
[00:43:23.050]Who is Joy Harjo?
[00:43:24.800]She's coming from a specific tribe,
[00:43:27.270]what is her cultural background?
[00:43:29.220]So important, yeah.
[00:43:31.510]Thank you for Emily and Nicole for your comments.
[00:43:36.690]And Emily just said something I agree
[00:43:38.700]with a 100% and not just
[00:43:40.140]for the Otoe-Missouria,
[00:43:41.740]but for native folk in general,
[00:43:43.920]UNL should offer free tuition
[00:43:45.937]to any Otoe-Missouria who wants to enroll here, duh.
[00:43:51.820]Read That again Dr. Tomny,
[00:43:53.490]I need you to repeat that for the people in the back.
[00:43:57.770]What was that? Dr. Tomny,
[00:43:59.120]repeat that one for the people in the back,
[00:44:01.270]you can say that one again.
[00:44:04.370]Because you know, I mean, right now it it's doable.
[00:44:06.900]It's so doable and people would say,
[00:44:08.937]"Well, we can't do that."
[00:44:09.770]Well, why can't we?
[00:44:11.800]I mean, all right, give the land back then.
[00:44:15.020]All right, you're not gonna give the land back
[00:44:16.440]or find something that's restorative,
[00:44:18.010]which we need to do, okay tuition.
[00:44:24.204]It's so little in the way of restoration and reparation.
[00:44:29.010]Yeah, yeah, exactly, yeah.
[00:44:31.940]What I like about Nicole's comment in particular is
[00:44:35.330]that I understand it,
[00:44:37.650]she's sort of reminding us
[00:44:39.533]that we need to be in a relationship with the local people.
[00:44:43.960]What I hear in Emily's comment is
[00:44:45.650]that we need to learn more
[00:44:47.110]about the local people by reading a book.
[00:44:49.990]So those are different approaches.
[00:44:51.330]I'm not saying one is better than the other,
[00:44:53.060]but one might be more indigenous than the other.
[00:44:56.200]And so I think part of our decolonizing practice,
[00:44:59.050]is being in relationship
[00:45:01.450]and putting ourselves in a humble learning mode.
[00:45:04.020]And I've learned a lot, for example,
[00:45:05.760]through my relationship with Dr. Yellow Robe
[00:45:08.570]and not just through talking,
[00:45:10.840]but traveling to sacred spaces
[00:45:14.220]and being with native folks on their land,
[00:45:17.370]seeing how and what it means to them,
[00:45:20.020]through their eyes and being invited as a guest
[00:45:22.640]and being taught as a child, how to comport myself,
[00:45:26.500]because I wasn't raised in a traditional way.
[00:45:28.940]I don't know how to behave
[00:45:30.450]when we go to the medicine wheel, unless I'm told.
[00:45:33.490]Right? So I think for settlers
[00:45:36.100]and immigrants and refugees,
[00:45:37.440]newcomers to the lands, there's a whole lot,
[00:45:39.980]we could learn from books and from people,
[00:45:43.900]if we just humble down, which is hard for academics to do.
[00:45:48.930]Yes, and I like to add to that,
[00:45:51.570]I often I've heard people say,
[00:45:54.017]"Well, you know, I didn't do it."
[00:45:55.975]And then they bring it about themselves,
[00:45:59.479]and I'm saying, all that's being asked of you is
[00:46:03.440]to learn and to be in relationship with,
[00:46:07.520]and you can at least do that.
[00:46:09.290]I mean, you get tears from that
[00:46:11.520]in the face of people who endured land theft,
[00:46:14.600]who are enduring all types of the impacts
[00:46:17.760]of those traumas exist today,
[00:46:21.250]language is stolen from them
[00:46:22.980]and you can't simply learn about it.
[00:46:26.010]And it's almost like then the folk who are resisting,
[00:46:28.500]make their tears and their discomfort,
[00:46:30.630]it makes it about them when really I often tell people,
[00:46:35.050]I've been scolded by quite a few native sisters
[00:46:38.420]And I appreciate that they see in me,
[00:46:41.410]someone worthy of that,
[00:46:42.827]"Look, we want you to get this right."
[00:46:45.080]Do I burst up?
[00:46:47.750]No, my shoulders are strong enough.
[00:46:51.540]And I want people listening
[00:46:52.800]to understand you're strong enough to withstand
[00:46:54.740]at least learning and not getting defensive.
[00:46:58.270]If you didn't do it, why are you defensive about it?
[00:47:00.940]Yeah, right now, Anne,
[00:47:04.130]in the chat said UNL is working
[00:47:06.960]on a program directed specifically
[00:47:10.210]for native American students
[00:47:12.420]that will have free tuition.
[00:47:14.960]I just wanna comment,
[00:47:18.550]I don't know about, I mean,
[00:47:20.610]this is the first I hear of it,
[00:47:21.830]thank you Anne, and that's great,
[00:47:24.620]but I would want native American students
[00:47:27.010]to have free tuition to everything on campus,
[00:47:30.050]not just one specific program,
[00:47:32.280]if that's what you mean,
[00:47:34.290]if there's a program, I worry about
[00:47:37.490]then if it was just a certain program
[00:47:42.300]for native Americans that was free tuition,
[00:47:46.320]then we're talking segregation.
[00:47:48.730]But I don't know if that's what you mean.
[00:47:51.970]I think I can,
[00:47:53.790]So we don't put, thank you Dr. Hubbard for that reminder.
[00:47:57.540]Yeah, we are working on that
[00:47:58.940]and she's a part of our indigenous advisory council,
[00:48:01.560]so it's in the works.
[00:48:04.049]And it's just gotta get figured out, and just to clarify,
[00:48:07.380]not that I'm recruiting here, but you know,
[00:48:10.010]if your tribe was indigenous to Nebraska,
[00:48:12.180]you do get in-state tuition already, so that is there.
[00:48:15.170]You know, we always gotta remind people.
[00:48:17.250]And I like the way that Wyatt is asking Dr. Raible that,
[00:48:21.030]I wanna make one more point of order.
[00:48:23.720]I finally figured out how to change my background
[00:48:26.100]on the phone, on iPhone.
[00:48:27.750]So I'm doing a shout out to Dr. Montes
[00:48:29.357]Can you see what's behind me?
[00:48:32.750]And so I wanted to share that, like,
[00:48:35.750]that's from Griffith observatory in L.A.,
[00:48:38.890]yes her dear hometown,
[00:48:40.530]and so when I was out there,
[00:48:41.630]I put tobacco down to honor, you know,
[00:48:43.240]the Chumash, you know, people.
[00:48:45.440]And so even though we're different tribes
[00:48:47.650]or nations or even different groups,
[00:48:50.040]we have to be there for one another to advocate.
[00:48:53.040]And I think that LA should put a,
[00:48:56.190]they should have a ceremony up at Griffith
[00:48:58.030]or a plaque at minimum,
[00:49:00.530]acknowledging the indigenous people
[00:49:02.227]or, you know, right below Hollywood sign, whatever,
[00:49:05.060]you can see Hollywood to the right
[00:49:06.940]when you're up there, oh, it's gorgeous.
[00:49:08.980]And so each of you, that's my challenge to you,
[00:49:12.090]when we're trying to change things like,
[00:49:14.264]pardon the reference everyone,
[00:49:15.990]but when I was driving through Missouri,
[00:49:17.700]they still have Squaw Creek.
[00:49:20.170]And so we may have to help our Missouri relatives,
[00:49:23.100]does that make sense?
[00:49:23.933]Get that changed one day,
[00:49:25.400]So I'm challenging each of you.
[00:49:27.880]Okay, Dr. Raible you got called, you got--
[00:49:31.360]Can I say something really quick?
[00:49:33.040]Can I say something really quick?
[00:49:34.440]I just wanna say that my challenge
[00:49:37.927]and I'm just gonna read Nicole's words
[00:49:41.650]and this is practice, right?
[00:49:43.460]This is praxis.
[00:49:45.080]I think it is so important to continue
[00:49:47.270]to push dialogue of people,
[00:49:48.910]acknowledging original occupiers, but stressing,
[00:49:52.160]that we as native peoples are still here
[00:49:55.440]and live amongst everyone.
[00:49:57.060]We know that continues to be an issue.
[00:49:59.430]So my challenge to people is the present.
[00:50:03.740]What are you doing in the present?
[00:50:05.560]Who are you listening to?
[00:50:08.430]Cause if you aren't,
[00:50:09.263]that means you aren't reaching out
[00:50:10.950]or going to spaces where native people are doing things
[00:50:14.870]and, you know, go and return and return.
[00:50:18.080]If you're not invited, don't go,
[00:50:19.850]but go and return and listen and don't dominate.
[00:50:22.970]okay, so John Dr. Raible is being called out.
[00:50:28.210]I guess that question is for me,
[00:50:29.920]just real quickly, I was thinking
[00:50:31.400]about Walter Echo-Hawk's very powerful speech yesterday,
[00:50:35.390]the keynote, and he was, as I understood it calling
[00:50:38.530]for a truth and reconciliation process here
[00:50:42.070]in Nebraska and on the Great Plains.
[00:50:43.800]And he laid out the importance of addressing conquest
[00:50:48.350]and colonization and gave us some strategies for healing.
[00:50:53.140]And so that's what made me think about medicine.
[00:50:56.230]That if we understand the land acknowledgement
[00:50:59.491]as a part of a bigger project
[00:51:00.450]of maybe telling the truth of our history,
[00:51:04.440]whether we are indigenous or settler or other,
[00:51:08.330]and then he, Walter Echo-Hawk was talking
[00:51:12.040]about the importance of apology.
[00:51:14.300]And maybe for some settlers,
[00:51:16.090]we need to think about the land acknowledgement
[00:51:18.640]as an acknowledgement of our legacy of destruction
[00:51:21.850]and colonization as a preamble to an apology.
[00:51:26.770]So that's how,
[00:51:28.280]and in that sense it could serve as healing,
[00:51:30.560]medicine and restoration. So that's all.
[00:51:40.899]Yeah, my background now is Bruce Lee,
[00:51:43.390]and I'm gonna use Bruce Lee to call on people
[00:51:47.370]to be anti bullies, to be anti bullies,
[00:51:51.010]because I see just all kinds of academic bullying
[00:51:57.840]against native peoples.
[00:52:01.380]Power plays that people do, erasures that are done.
[00:52:06.620]So those are my last words.
[00:52:11.870]And for those who didn't see my,
[00:52:16.410]somebody had said
[00:52:17.740]that they couldn't see this,
[00:52:21.990]these are native peoples holding up this cross.
[00:52:28.030]I have always been found this really problematic,
[00:52:31.830]and I show it to as protest of how,
[00:52:36.780]and reminder of how the Catholic religion,
[00:52:41.565]has caused genocide, has obliterated so many tribes.
[00:52:50.030]so we have to just keep working at this,
[00:52:54.440]those are my last words, thank you.
[00:53:06.190]Oh, go ahead.
[00:53:07.709]Oh, I think I saw my little buddy Mason right there
[00:53:10.917]in on camera, hi Mason.
[00:53:13.460]Dr. John says, "Hi."
[00:53:14.810]I'm real tech deficient,
[00:53:17.620]I made him take a picture
[00:53:18.720]of what Rachel put in the chat, the website,
[00:53:22.880]Secretary Deb Haaland has a thing
[00:53:25.710]against the disparaging terms on the land.
[00:53:29.157]Did you guys see that?
[00:53:32.910]No, thank you.
[00:53:36.420]Thank you, Rachel.
[00:53:38.780]There are some interesting,
[00:53:40.220]or there are a lot of developments in the chat.
[00:53:43.280]Margaret Branam mentioned,
[00:53:44.447]"By having indigenous students
[00:53:46.050]cratist and treating them as advisors
[00:53:49.210]then down the line,
[00:53:50.043]return some land to the local tribes."
[00:53:55.400]And then Anne added that with regards,
[00:54:00.824]oh boy, there's a lot of stuff.
[00:54:10.630]and I think that one was read,
[00:54:13.970]Nature Conservancy Nebraska,
[00:54:15.680]has recently transferred traditional lands
[00:54:17.670]of the Iowan tribe back to the Missouri,
[00:54:19.970]are along the Missouri back to the tribe.
[00:54:22.650]So thank you Anne for pointing that out
[00:54:24.810]and then Dr. Colette, there's a question from Emily,
[00:54:28.657]"Is it true that for tribes who are no longer
[00:54:31.130]in Nebraska, but those who have been dispossessed
[00:54:33.450]as well, like the Otoe?
[00:54:35.940]Yes, that should be there,
[00:54:37.620]and so like my tribe, Lakota,
[00:54:43.233]Kansa, yes they should.
[00:54:45.290]So students should get in-state tuition rates
[00:54:48.150]as it is, even if we were just indigenous
[00:54:50.440]to Nebraska at one time
[00:54:52.140]and then obviously removed or relocated,
[00:54:55.382]or fighting back like my people, you know.
[00:55:03.850]And then Barbara mentioned about the renaming
[00:55:07.300]of offensive names,
[00:55:08.510]so thank you for commenting on that.
[00:55:10.540]And I think I've acknowledged,
[00:55:13.970]Rachel was in dialogue with Colette,
[00:55:17.580]so I think everybody who has put
[00:55:21.210]in a question has been addressed,
[00:55:23.260]so I'd like to think that,
[00:55:24.490]and we do have about a minute left.
[00:55:27.680]Would any anybody like to say a parting message?
[00:55:33.992]You do it Gabe, please.
[00:55:36.720]Oh my gosh,
[00:55:38.520]I'd like to thank everybody,
[00:55:40.471]I really thought that was a great interaction
[00:55:44.420]between our audience
[00:55:46.160]and our distinguished panel today,
[00:55:48.640]and I think that really did move things forward
[00:55:51.730]as we think about these land acknowledgements
[00:55:57.160]And I think we're at time now,
[00:56:01.030]so I guess I'd like
[00:56:03.440]to virtually give you a round of applause
[00:56:07.280]to everybody who's spoken this afternoon
[00:56:09.670]or this morning
[00:56:10.850]and everybody who has come to our session as well.
[00:56:15.320]Thank you all, and once again,
[00:56:16.670]thanks to the Center for Great Plain Studies
[00:56:19.620]for hosting this event
[00:56:21.500]and for John for inviting all these people
[00:56:25.280]for this wonderful deep, meaningful conversation.
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