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Indigenous Initiatives

University of Hartford Land Acknowledgement

What is a Land Acknowledgement? 

A Land Acknowledgment is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.

Source: Northwestern University

Why do we recognize the land?

To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honoring the Indigenous People who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long-standing 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. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol.

Source: Know the Land Territories Campaign

Full Land Acknowledgement Statement

We acknowledge that the University of Hartford resides on the historic homelands of the Sicaogs, Poquonocks, Wangunks and Tunxis; and that what is now called Connecticut encompasses the homelands of the Wappinger, Schaghticoke, Golden Hill Paugussett, Mohegan, Mashantucket Pequot, Eastern Pequot, Nipmuc, Quinnipiac, Niantic, and Lenape, as well as other Indigenous Peoples. We honor, respect, and appreciate the relationship that exists among these communities, nations, lands, and waterways, and aspire to uphold our responsibilities according to their example of stewardship.

Full Land Acknowledgement Statement, University of Hartford

Abbreviated Land Acknowledgement Statement

We acknowledge that the University of Hartford resides on the historic homelands of the Sicaogs, Poquonocks, Wangunks, and Tunxis. We honor, respect, and appreciate the relationship that exists among these communities, nations, lands, and waterways, and aspire to uphold our responsibilities according to their examples.  

Abbreviated Land Acknowledgement, University of Hartford

How Land Acknowledgement Was Established

Ariel view of campus

There has been interest in creating a University of Hartford land acknowledgement statement for quite some time, starting with a Faculty Learning Community and most recently a group of faculty, staff, and students who came together during the 2021-2022 academic year. With the guidance of the Golden Hill Paugussett, the “Amplifying Indigenous Voices” Working Group crafted an initiative including a mission statement, goals, and action items.

Following approval by the President's Cabinet, the University will launch the Land Acknowledgment initiative on Monday, October 10, 2022, Indigenous People's Day, along with the University community and representatives from the Golden Hill Paugussett and other local tribes.

Support has also been provided by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement, the University Interdisciplinary Studies program, the Hartt School, and the Center for Montessori Studies.

In alignment with the University of Hartford strategic goal to foster a campus climate of equity, inclusion, and belonging, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement recognizes that truth and acknowledgment are critical to building mutual respect and understanding across historical barriers of heritage and differences.

Departments, student organizations, and other groups holding events and gatherings on the University of Hartford campus are encouraged to engage with the University of Hartford Land Acknowledgement Statement that appears below, and to use it in a manner that is reflective of the intentions with which it is offered — acknowledging the history of this region and committing to amplifying the voices of the tribes upon whose ancestral lands our University sits.

The Land Acknowledgement Statement (full or abbreviated version) can be included in written correspondence (for example, an email signature or as part of a class syllabus), read aloud in class at the beginning of the semester or at other University events, and/or distributed on University property by anyone who wishes to do so.

There are no requirements for the use of the land acknowledgment statement at events and gatherings, in materials, on course syllabi, or other University documents. When the option to use the land acknowledgment statement is exercised, it should be in a manner that is respectful of the Indigenous Peoples it honors.

It is important that this be the only Land Acknowledgement used at the University of Hartford. A great deal of care, effort, and research went into drafting our formal land acknowledgment statement to ensure its accuracy, including consultation with Clan Mother Shoran Waupatukuay Piper of the Golden Hill Paugussett.

Map of the State of Connecticut Showing Indian Trails, Villages, & Schemdoms
Map of the State of Connecticut Showing Indian Trails, Villages, & Schemdoms
  • Sicaog (Suks-a-awg)
  • Poquonock (Poe-kwa-nick)
  • Wangunk (Won-guhngk)
  • Tunxis (Tunx-is)
  • Wappinger (WAH-pin-jer)
  • Schaghticoke (Ska-the-COKE)
  • Golden Hill Paugussett (Paw-GUS-it)
  • Mohegan (Mo-he-gan)
  • Mashantucket Pequot (Mash-uh-tuck-it Pea-kwaht)
  • Eastern Pequot (Pea-kwaht)
  • Nipmuc (Nip-muck)
  • Quinnipiac (Kwi-nuh-pee-ak)
  • Niantic (Nai-an-tuhk)
  • Lenape (Leh-NAH-pay)

“Amplifying Indigenous Voices” Working Group

Sky view of campus bridge with words "You are on Indigenous Land"
You are on Indigenous Land

Mission and Goals

We, the leadership at the University of Hartford, consistent with the University’s commitment to equity, inclusion, and social justice, pledge to acknowledge, uphold, and integrate into campus culture the following goals with respect to Indigenous peoples and communities.

Work with Indigenous communities to: 

  • Disseminate knowledge about and amplify voices of Indigenous peoples and communities
  • Foster relationships and partnerships with Indigenous peoples and communities
  • Enrich academic opportunities for and about Indigenous peoples and communities
  • Recognize historical legacies and current contributions of Indigenous peoples and communities
  • Increase enrollment efforts among Indigenous communities

Action Items

Achieve these goals through action steps, such as:

  • Consulting with local tribes, including the Golden Hill Paugussett
  • Crafting, disseminating, and providing guidelines for use of a Land Acknowledgement
  • Acknowledging and celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the University calendar and elsewhere as appropriate
  • Supporting the creation of an affinity network
  • Sustaining and expanding academic course offerings inclusive of, but not limited to, Indigenous history, religion, and cultural expression 
  • Coordinating and developing annual programming during Native American Heritage Month, as well as throughout the year
  • Developing and distributing campus markers to educate the campus community about indigenous plants and wildlife, and connections to the land and its Indigenous history.

For more information, or to join the group, please contact Judy Wyman Kelly or Lisa Coté.

Photos of the Main Campus Green

Photos of the Land Acknowledgement Ceremony

Video of the Land Acknowledgment Ceremony