Acknowledging the Original Stewards of the Land We Occupy

The General Assembly of the PC(USA) has encouraged all denominational bodies to “begin their meetings with an acknowledgment of whose land they are meeting on.” In addition to practicing a land acknowledgment in our church gatherings, we also invite our church family to take action regularly to learn more about and act in solidarity with movements led by Indigenous peoples. We invite you to explore the resources linked here and take action to work toward healing the harms of white settler colonialism.

Cowlitz Indian Tribe

The Cowlitz Indian Tribe’s Cultural Department provided us with this statement to begin our church’s gatherings:
“It is vital to honor those who came before us and acknowledge the long history of what is now southwest Washington State. This area has been home to ancestors of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe for thousands of years. The land, with its rich resources, enabled the Cowlitz People to flourish, and they stewarded the land with their traditional culture. Today we must appreciate the persistence of the Cowlitz People and the important role they play in our region as together we steward the land for all our descendants.”

Earth Ministry/WAIPL co-hosted an interactive webinar regarding the Columbia River Treaty on October 4, 2022. Earth Ministry/WAIPL Advocacy Director, Jessica Zimmerle, joined with DR Michel from the Upper Columbia United Tribes, Jim Heffernan from the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, and Joseph Bogaard from Save Our Wild Salmon on a panel to discuss the ethics of how we move forward in relationship to the Columbia River and the diverse life it supports.  

Short on time to watch the full webinar? Click here to read NPR’s coverage of the event!

The Columbia River Treaty is a 1964 agreement between the United States and Canada that controls the Columbia River’s flow across the border. This treaty directly impacts Northwesterners through its influence on fish, hydro-electricity, flood protection, agriculture, navigation, recreation, and more, yet many of us know little to nothing about it! Watch this event recording to better understand the uncertain future of the Columbia River Treaty and its implications for Northwest tribes, wildlife, and communities. 

To learn more about this initiative and how your organization can make your own land acknowledgement statement, visit the 
U.S. Department of Arts and Culture

To find out whose land you reside on you can visit Native Land Digital’s website. A note: This resource is not a definitive map, so we recommend contacting the offices of local tribes to learn how they would prefer to be acknowledged.

To learn more about the PC(USA) and its Native American Congregations, you can visit this website for information, ways to support, and more links.

A 38-minute frontline documentary on the effort to stop fossil fuel expansion and encourage real energy security.


If you have questions or would like to have a conversation about why Longview Presbyterian Church engages in a land acknowledgement practice, you can reach out to our pastors.

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