This guide was created to support task force work undertaken in the 21-22 academic year to address the issue of a creating a shared land acknowledgement for the CCSU community. These efforts have been supported by many departments, including the Office for Equity and Inclusion, whose mission is to ensure that CCSU is a welcoming community for all people, including our indigenous students, faculty, staff, and community members
The effort to create a land acknowledgement statement is also a means of honoring the native people who occupied this land before its colonization and those people's descendents, who are still here and still have a connection to this place.
In 2022-23, a more informal Indigenous Voices working group formed and is running the Indigenous Roundtable to be held on April 20, 2023 at 3pm in the Connecticut Room, Memorial Hall. This group, with the support of the Center for Community Engagement and Social Research, is running the "We Are Still Here" event. CCSU is launching an indigenous scholarship initiative as well.
Our purpose remains: to ensure that CCSU honors indigenous people, past and present, and their connection to this land. This work is an opportunity to educate CCSU faculty, staff, and students about the history and current realities of native people, acknowledging the intersectionality of this work with other campus initiatives for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The history of the native people in the area now known as "Connecticut" (Quinnetucket) is a long and fascinating one. It is one that continues to this day. Native people are still here. Today, they include people who are members of the tribal nations that are federally recognized in our state (Mashantucket Pequot & Mohegan), those who are members of local native groups that are not federally recognized at this time (e.g., those with state-recognized tribal status / reservations, such as the Schaghticoke, Golden Hill Paugussett, Eastern Pequot), those who are from historically documented but no longer officially recognized Native American tribes (e.g., Wangunk, Tunxis), and those who are members of tribal nations / indigenous groups from other locations who now reside in Connecticut, such as the nearby (Massachusetts) Mashpee & Aquinnah Wampanoag tribal nations.
One proposed statement (not yet approved) follows:
A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Native peoples as traditional stewards of lands. The statement highlights the enduring relationship between Native peoples and their traditional territories.
All land in the State of Connecticut was once Native territory, which is why it is our duty to acknowledge that Central Connecticut State University, is existing on Native land. The Indigenous Voices Committee has worked to create a land acknowledgment that rightfully recognizes the history of the Native people’s territories. It is important to continue our efforts of educating our campus on the value of diversity and inclusion. We would like to rightfully acknowledge that the land on which Central Connecticut State University resides is the territory of the Mohegan, Mashantucket Pequot, Eastern Pequot, Schaghticoke, Golden Hill Paugussett, Nipmuc, Tunxis, and Wangunk Peoples, who have stewarded this land throughout the generations. This recognizes and respects the Indigenous peoples who have been living and working on this land since time immemorial to build a comprehensive understanding of our past.