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Land Acknowledgement

West Virginia University Land Acknowledgement

Since time immemorial, long before there was a West Virginia, the lands and waters of the place now known as Appalachia supported millions of Native people, their nations, towns, and communities.

Beginning in the 1500s, European conquistadors, colonizers, foreign diplomats, traders, and migrating settlers from Europe, along with enslaved Africans and people from other parts of the world, came to claim a home in Appalachia. The drastic, often violent change forced many surviving Indigenous Appalachians away from their beloved homeland. Despite this, many Appalachian tribes managed to retain a portion of their homeland, functioning today as federally-recognized sovereign Native nations, state-recognized tribes, and other descendant peoples and individuals. 

WVU, with its statewide presence, resides on land that includes ancestral lands of the Shawnee, the Lenni Lenape (or Delaware), the Cherokee, and the Haudenosaunee (or Iroquois, the Six Nations Confederacy -- Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora), and other Indigenous peoples, since time immemorial. 

We acknowledge all Indigenous nations on whose lands we live and work. It is important that we understand both the context that has brought our university communities to reside on this land, and our place within this long history. As a result, we recognize that colonialism is an ongoing process, and as scholars seeking truth and understanding, we need to be mindful of our present participation.