November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the diverse histories, traditions and cultures of Native people.
Native Land Digital is a Canada-based non–profit which strives to create and foster conversations about the history of colonialism, Indigenous ways of knowing, and settler-Indigenous relations, through educational resources. The organization offers a robust interactive map of the world showing indigenous territories across nearly all continents. It’s an engaging way to learn more about the native nations and the land they once called home. Native Land Digital also offers a teacher’s guide to help foster conversations and open minds and hearts.
The organization also offers information and suggestions on developing a Native Lands Statement or Acknowledgement and ideas on how to use them. Land Acknowledgements are formal statements that recognize the Indigenous People as original stewards of the land and their strong and continuing connection to their original territories. You may have seen them used at some corporations and government organizations.
To honor indigenous people everywhere and to celebrate National Native American Heritage month, why not give the interactive map a test drive using your corporate and manufacturing locations? It’s also a great time to consider offering a Native Lands Statement as a subtle way of acknowledging the wrongs of the past and showing respect to those who came before us and the Indigenous People who still feel a bond to those lands.
These actions won’t right past wrongs, and they are obviously tokens. However, if undertaken authentically, they raise awareness, provide education, and create a more conscious understanding of issues facing Native People everywhere.
Article exclusively written for automotivediversity.org
Authored by Margaret Baxter