Why is Indigenous Land Acknowledgement Important?
by The Native Governance Center
Submitted by Don Shandrow
ITA Community Theatre Division Representative
While attending a virtual theatre conference someone asked, "Why Indigenous Land Acknowledgements?" It was a question that was followed up by, "Do we have to do it because it is some kind of proclamation or Presidential decree?" The questions were so many that I think it's appropriate to provide clarification and answer the question of why we state our theatre's Indigenous Land Acknowledgement before each performance of a production, before official meetings, and on our theatre websites.
I hope these passages along with the attached article will answer those questions.
“It is important to understand the longstanding history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation.” Northwestern University
“When we talk about land, land is part of who we are. It’s a mixture of our blood, our past, our current, and our future. We carry our ancestors in us, and they’re around us. As you all do.” Mary Lyons (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe)
If you, or your Community Theatre, still feel uncertain about this, reach out to the Illinois Theatre Association Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Culture Committee or to your ITA Community Theatre Representative.