November is National Native American Heritage Month. This observance commemorates the history, heritage, and culture of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. It is during this month we acknowledge the vast achievements of America’s original indigenous people. This month is also a time to educate, examine, and raise awareness about the unique challenges and sufferings Native people and communities have faced historically and continue to contend with.
Land acknowledgment is a traditional custom that dates back centuries in many Native nations and communities. Today, land acknowledgments are used by Native Peoples and non-Natives to recognize Indigenous Peoples who are the original stewards of the lands on which we now live.The University of Scranton has officially adopted a Land Acknowledgment Statement to recognize and honor the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Lenape, the Munsee, the Shawnee and the Susquehannocks in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Statement reads:
The University of Scranton acknowledges the original inhabitants and nations of this land: the Lenape, the Munsee, the Shawnee and the Susquehannocks. May we be ever mindful of their legacy and contributions and commit ourselves to stewarding this land with care and compassion as we navigate our communities towards faith and justice.
The Weinberg Memorial Library faculty, staff, and administration join University President Fr. Marina and the broader university community in acknowledging the land as an act of reconciliation that honors the authentic history of the original people of this territory.The library has chosen to add this land acknowledgement to our website under the “About the Library” section.
The library also wishes to recognize Dr. Adam Pratt, associate professor of history, and his research students, Peter Burke and Katia Ramirez, for assisting with the development of this statement. The Land Acknowledgement will also be posted on the University’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion website and on the Office of Equity and Diversity’s website. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to read the university land acknowledgement statement at the start of events whenever possible. For more information on land acknowledgement, see the US Department of Arts & Culture’s Honor Native Land.