A Model to Combat Indigenous Erasure: The MSAC Land Acknowledgment Project

Ryan Koons (Maryland Traditions)

Land Acknowledgements – statements delivered by non-Indigenous people recognizing Indigenous peoples dispossessed of their land by settler colonists – remain a controversial practice. However, these statements can become effective tools to promote Indigenous sovereignty and begin educating non-Indigenous publics. In response to constituent requests, staff of Maryland Traditions, the traditional arts program of the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), crafted a Land Acknowledgement Project. Staff conducted research, formally consulted with tribes, and developed public-facing resources for constituents. This paper presents the MSAC Land Acknowledgement Project as a successful and positive model that combats Indigenous erasure and builds networks to promote Indigenous sovereignty.

Part of 08-04 Metafolkloristics: What Should Folklorists Do?, Saturday, October 15, 10:30 am–12:30 pm