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.
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.”
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.
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.