Acknowledgement (a poem)

It is popular these days to begin certain gatherings by ‘acknowledging the land’. But it seems to me that the people offering these ‘acknowledgements’, however well-intentioned, are leaving a few things out.

For my part, I acknowledge that this is likely not a popular opinion.

We acknowledge the land
upon which we live
and those who tended it with care
through the years
until we stole it from them
through trickery and force

We acknowledge the indigenous tribes
of this country and land
for knowing their place
and for staying there
while we run rampant
and demolish what once was whole

We acknowledge the peoples
who were here before us
and suffered mightily at our hands
and we thank them
for not rising up and killing us all
while we sit in morning traffic

We acknowledge everyone present here today
for hearing our words
of gratitude and healing
and joining us in acknowledging the land
without question—
because we’re not going to give it back

(17 September 2020)

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  1. Indeed This is Land is NOT your land, this land is my land
    or the bank’s land, or partially my land
    and that land there is no trespassing land
    and that land I can land on for a little while
    but not for too long.

    • And I own the house but rent the space, so it’s like the worst of both worlds. Fortunately, it’s less expensive.

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