Today, for the first time, Emory University is officially recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day. We have been called upon today and every day to acknowledge, honor and respect the land on which Emory now sits and the people who originally inhabited and cared for this land, the Muscogee (Creek), or Mvskoke (Creek). The Muscogee were forcibly removed from the land during the 1830’s by way of the Trail of Tears. Many died along the way. Those who survived were settled in what is now Oklahoma. The present-day Muscogee (Creek) Nation is self-governed and is currently the fourth largest tribe in the United States.
A land and peoples’ acknowledgement is a first step in changing our minds and our cultures to value, respect and raise up indigenous and native peoples, past, present and future. We can do more by listening to those in our community who have been speaking up for centuries, asking us all to do more, and not just on Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Here are a few resources from which we have been humbly learning:
- Native Lands Map, to help us all learn which native peoples’ inherited the land on which we now live
- “Emory Must Foster Native American Inclusion” Emory Wheel article by Associate Professor of Anthropology Debra Vidali; Associate Professor of English Craig Womack; English Lecturer and Emory Writing Center Director Mandy Suhr-Sytsma; Senior Lecturer of French and Italian Christine Ristaino; and Assistant Professor of Art History and Michael. C. Carlos Museum Faculty Curator Megan E. O’Neil
- The Native American Engagement at Emory scholar blog
- “A Community for All: Indigenous Student Initiative Committee Statement” from 2019
- The Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion’s Indigenous People’s Day newsletter
What other resources and actions do you recommend? Feel free to share them in the comments.