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Contextual Statement

The Department of Media, Culture, and Communication's (MCC) Land Acknowledgement is only the most visible documentation of a two-year learning and collaborative process undertaken by a department subcommittee composed of junior and senior faculty, staff, and a doctoral student. These individuals were, in alphabetical order: Tony Brave, Nick Mirzoeff, Laine Nooney, Dove Pedlosky, Whit Pow, and james Wahutu. This work began fall 2021; the land acknowledgment was finalized in fall 2023, and undergoes an annual commitment audit overseen by the department Chair and the department's Associate Director of External Affairs. The work on this project began with an extensive research phase, followed by consultation with representatives from The Lenape Center and the American Indian Community House. Outreach to the federally recognized Lenape Nations began in summer 2022; the subsequent year was spent conducting several consultation sessions with Carissa Speck (Historic Preservation Director for Delaware Nation), Katelyn Lucas (Historic Preservation Officer for Delaware Nation), and Jeremy Johnson (Cultural Education Director and citizen of the Delaware Tribe of Indians), writing iterative drafts of the land acknowledgment, and developing a set of ongoing commitments to establish MCC's relationship with these Lenape Nations.

This document constitutes the only known land acknowledgment with any department, institute, or program at New York University written in consultation with Lenape Peoples, and reflects MCC's specific, unique, and ongoing relationship with the Indigenous people of Lenapehoking. As such, this document may not be borrowed, edited, altered, shortened, lengthened, reposted or otherwise used by entities, at NYU or otherwise, outside of the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication. To do so would be a direct violation of the accountability toward which this document was created.
 

Written Land Acknowledgement 

(For use in department syllabi, website, and digital/print distribution)

We begin by acknowledging that we are gathered, speaking, and learning on Lenapehoking, the ancestral lands of the Lenape peoples, which settlers call New York City. We do this with humility and gratitude, while recognizing the violence of forced relocation and displacement of the Lenape Peoples with whom this department and university are in an ongoing process of learning. These peoples are known today as the Delaware Nation, in Anadarko Oklahoma; the Delaware Tribe of Indians, in Bartlesville Oklahoma; the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, in Bowler Wisconsin; and the Munsee Delaware Nation, and the Eelūnaapèewii Lahkèewiit, or Delaware Nation at Moraviantown, both in Ontario, Canada.

We acknowledge the need for the recognition of the history of Lenapehoking – a land stolen from, never traded by, the Lenape peoples, who continue to live in New York City and beyond. We acknowledge the systemic and ongoing violence of settler colonialism, and the genocidal violence that resulted in both forced relocation and in physical and psychological trauma perpetrated across generations. We acknowledge in particular that settlers have broken, and continue to break, their treaties with Lenape peoples, beginning with the actions of Henry Hudson and Peter Minuit in first appropriating this land. 

We recognize that reparative action requires long-term maintenance and multigenerational efforts to build relationships with the sovereign nations of the Lenape peoples. We commit to upholding an ongoing and living set of commitments with these nations by working directly with Tribal Governments and Authorized Tribal Representatives to ensure our words and actions are in step with our goals. 

 

Spoken Land Acknowledgement 

(For use at department events)

We begin our proceedings today by acknowledging that we are gathered, speaking, and learning on Lenapehoking, the ancestral lands of the Lenape peoples, which settlers call New York City. We do this with humility and gratitude, while recognizing the violence of forced relocation and displacement of the Lenape Peoples with whom this department and university are in an ongoing process of learning. These peoples are known today as the Delaware Nation, in Anadarko Oklahoma; the Delaware Tribe of Indians, in Bartlesville Oklahoma; the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, in Bowler Wisconsin; and the Munsee Delaware Nation, and the Delaware Nation at Moraviantown, both in Ontario, Canada.

We acknowledge the need for the recognition of the history of Lenapehoking – a land stolen from, never traded by, the Lenape peoples, who continue to live in New York City and beyond. We acknowledge the systemic and ongoing violence of settler colonialism, and the genocidal violence that resulted in both forced relocation and in physical and psychological trauma perpetrated across generations. We acknowledge in particular that settlers have broken, and continue to break, their treaties with Lenape peoples, beginning with the actions of Henry Hudson and Peter Minuit in first appropriating this land. 

We recognize that reparative action requires long-term maintenance and multigenerational efforts to build relationships with the sovereign nations of the Lenape peoples. We commit to upholding an ongoing and living set of commitments with these nations by working directly with Tribal Governments and Authorized Tribal Representatives to ensure our words and actions are in step with our goals.