Recently, as performing land acknowledgments within activist and academic communities grows in popularity, scholars are beginning to critically engage with their purpose and production. While the development of these discussions in university settings demonstrates a beneficial turn toward working with and interest in Indigenous communities, as well as the academy’s recognition of its complicity in ongoing settler colonization, it is important to reflect on these practices now, at this moment. Exploring recent critiques of land acknowledgments, we demonstrate that contemporary land acknowledgments maintain Western conceptions of land by focusing on the people as if they are divorced from it. This article argues, utilizing the peoplehood matrix, that land and people are inexorably linked in Indigenous ontologies, in an equal relationship, yet the form of current land acknowledgments often separates the people from their land in conformity with Western ideas of land ownership and history. We maintain that it is crucial in creating and performing land acknowledgments to remember the relationality between Indigenous peoples and the land.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.