In advance of our meeting, I invite participants to join in the following reflection:
We acknowledge the Piscataway and Pamunkey Peoples, whose traditional and unceded territory we are gathered upon today. Gathering here, we pay our respects to the elders, both past and present.
We acknowledge the grave harm that colonialism brought to these lands, in particular the erasure of both indigenous and African identities not under only slavery, but via racist laws that segregated all peoples into binary classification of “white” and “black”.
We honor those who have lived-- and do live, now-- at these intersections of identity and experience. We also honor and thank Piscataway Indian leader Chief Turkey Tayac, whose leadership in the indigenous social justice movement of the 20th century played a pivotal role in reclaiming indigenous identity not only here, but in communities allied with the American Indian Movement for self-determination across the world.