Land Acknowledgement

What is a land acknowledgment statement?

A land acknowledgement is a formal statement presented at the beginning of public events and gatherings that recognizes and honors indigenous peoples as traditional stewards of the land.

Miami University's Land Acknowledgement

Staff members of the Myaamia Center posing around the sign outside their buildingMiami University is located within the traditional homelands of the Myaamia and Shawnee people, who along with other indigenous groups ceded these lands to the United States in the first Treaty of Greenville in 1795. The Miami people, whose name our university carries, were forcibly removed from these homelands in 1846.

In 1972, a relationship between Miami University and the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma began and evolved into a reciprocal partnership, including the creation of the Myaamia Center at Miami University in 2001. The work of the Myaamia Center serves the Miami Tribe community and is dedicated to the revitalization of Miami language and culture and to restoring that knowledge to the Myaamia people.

Miami University and the Miami Tribe are proud of this work and of the more than 140 Myaamia students who have attended Miami since 1991 through the Myaamia Heritage Award Program. 

How to use this land acknowledgment

The Miami University land acknowledgement is available for those wishing to use it. Often, a land acknowledgment is read aloud before a public meeting.

"Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase indigenous people's history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth."

"Acknowledgment by itself is a small gesture. It becomes meaningful when coupled with authentic relationships and informed action. But this beginning can be an opening to greater public consciousness of Native sovereignty and cultural rights, a step toward equitable relationship and reconciliation."

U.S. Department of Arts and Culture