Land Acknowledgement

Out of respect for past, present, and future indigenous people’s ancestral, spiritual, and personal relationships with this land, we want to name that Arts For Life operates on the lands of many indigenous nations and tribes including the Cherokee Nation, the Muscogee Nation, the Catawba Nation, and the Saponi Nation. Had this land not been stolen through genocide, forced removal, and treaties broken by the United States, these nations would still have guardianship and decision-making power over this land.

We admire and respect the beauty, techniques, and history of the arts and craftsmanship of these indigenous nations and tribes. We recognize the ways arts lessons, including our own, have appropriated, colonized, and erased the histories, cultures, and traditions of Indigenous peoples and know we are responsible for more than simply eradicating these lessons from our curriculum. We welcome accountability in reconciliation and decolonization from our community.

Other Resources:

To familiarize yourself with the history of the land you occupy and land reconciliation (also known as Land Back) we encourage you to learn from the following resources we have found helpful:

To learn more about the practice of land acknowledgements and how more than simply an acknowledgement is needed, we offer the following resources which were influential in writing the above statement:

To learn more about the ways these tribes were disenfranchised and displaced, we offer the following context and recommend learning directly from these nations at the linked resources:

Western North Carolina

The Cherokee Nation and the Yuchi Tribe of the Muscogee Nation were violently displaced and forced to move west after After the Indian Removal Act of 1830 was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson. Today, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), descendants of those who hid to avoid displacement and those who returned, reside in this area; their Tribal Council House is located within the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, NC. The Tribal headquarters of the Muscogee Nation is in Oklahoma.

South Central North Carolina

The Sugaree Tribe lost many members as a result of the Yamasee War of 1715. After, they merged with the Catawba Nation. The Catawba Nation was decimated by illnesses brought by settlers in the early 1800s. Their modern-day tribal lands are located in York County, South Carolina.

Central North Carolina

After allying together in the Yamasee War of 1715, the Keyawee Indians joined the Catawba Nation. The Tutelo. Their villages were destroyed in the 1779 Sullivan Expedition, a military campaign ordered by George Washington during the Revolutionary war. The Occaneechi Indians were traders who lived in the Piedmont Region until the early 1700s when they moved north and west seeking safety and resources which were becoming scarce due to settlers. Today, a small community of the Occaneechi Band of Saponi Nation reside in central North Carolina.