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Indigenous Resources: Land acknowledgments

Land acknowledgments

University of St. Thomas Land Acknowledgment

Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, we invite you to reflect on these verses of scripture that offer us guidance in this endeavor:

  • Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
  • But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. James 2:18

As a Catholic institution dedicated to the pursuit of truth, the University of St. Thomas recognizes that it occupies the ancestral and current homelands of the Dakota people, “Mni Sota Makoce”. The University of St. Thomas community also recognizes the territory of the Ojibwe and Ho-Chunk whose lands were also colonized by the United States and are occupied by the State of Minnesota. As a country, we acknowledge the actions of our past, our present, and how these actions have developed systems of oppression, rooted in settler colonialism that marginalized underrepresented peoples.

We condemn the acts of evil including genocide and forced assimilation done in the name of white supremacy and the continued oppression of Indigenous peoples on the land that belongs to them. It is our mission to not only rectify these wrongs, but also provide an educational environment for our students, who as morally responsible leaders, will continue to dismantle this legacy of violence and work to support and empower those who have been marginalized in our nation and the world. It is our goal to continue the process of decolonizing the mind and proactively integrating this process into our words and actions.

The Catholic Church and the University of St. Thomas teach that every person is born in the image and likeness of the Creator, and so, has dignity and inalienable worth. It is this belief that underlies all moral teaching regarding the intrinsic value of life, and which underlies the care for the person as the heart of Catholic education. We are committed to the long, yet urgent work of truth-telling and relationship building as we seek a way forward as relatives in the University of St. Thomas community, the Indigenous communities, and those who traverse multiple communities.

Pronunciation Note: Mni (mnee) Sota (shoh-dah) Makoce (mah-koh-chay)

Further reading on issues brought up in the University of St. Thomas Land Acknowledgment Statement

Read more about land acknowlegments