Student Rights and Responsibilities offers these land and labor acknowledgments for several reasons. First, we do this because leaders and members of the communities harmed have requested this, and we wish to honor that request. Second, SRR works to center our practices in restorative principles. Identifying and acknowledging harm is an essential and early step in restorative practices. We do not wish to pretend that these acknowledgments are sufficient to repair the harms they describe, and we recognize these are a small step in our ongoing work to engage inclusively with our diverse community.
GWU’s campuses in the District of Columbia border the confluence of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers, a historic center of trade and cultural exchange between several tribal nations. For generations, the Piscataway and Anacostian Peoples have resided in this region and served as stewards of the local land and waterways. Following European genocide and other harms that continue today, the Piscataway people continue to call this region home, honoring and celebrating their culture and relationship with the land.
(Adapted from AT&T CIPP @ GWU)
We acknowledge that much of what we know of the United States & GWU today, including its culture, economic growth, and development, has been made possible by the labor of enslaved Africans, their descendants, and their ascendants who suffered the horror of the transatlantic trafficking of their people, chattel slavery, Jim Crow, and other harms that continue today. We are indebted to their labor and their sacrifice, and we must acknowledge the tremors of that violence throughout the generations and the resulting impact that can still be felt and witnessed today.
(Adapted from the work of Dr. TJ Stewart)
- Native Land Acknowledgments Are Not the Same as Land (article)
- Piscataway-collaborative mural in Corcoran School of Art
- Underground Railroad sites in Foggy Bottom (More information)
- Walking tours of historically Black Georgetown sites and history
- CIPP (Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy) events
- GWU's Guide to Indigenous DC app
- Learn more about local tribes
- An article about race and restorative practices