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Reflective Essays

Vol. 28 No. 1

Native Nations and Land-Grant Universities at the Crossroads: The Intersection of Settler Land Acknowledgments and the Outreach and Engagement Mission

  • Theresa Jean Ambo
  • Stephen M. Gavazzi
June 21, 2022


This reflective essay addresses the nexus of two recent events in the United States: (1) the public scrutiny of the relationship between land-grant universities and the expropriation of Indigenous lands and (2) the often uncritical and rapid uptake of settler land acknowledgments at public college and university events. We argue that written land acknowledgment statements need to accompany actions that align with declarations of respect and honor. Specifically, we offer readers three concrete ideas through which institutions may further land acknowledgments: challenging their historical legacies, fostering meaningful partnerships with Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples, and materializing resources for this highly underserved, long-neglected, often ignored community.