UC Davis Political Ecology Lab Land Acknowledgement
We open with the official UC Davis Land Acknowledgement Statement:
We should take a moment to acknowledge the land on which we are gathered. For thousands of years, this land has been the home of Patwin people. Today, there are three federally recognized Patwin tribes: Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community, Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation, and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.
The Patwin people have remained committed to the stewardship of this land over many centuries. It has been cherished and protected, as elders have instructed the young through generations. We are honored and grateful to be here today on their traditional lands.
We further offer this acknowledgment, collectively drafted and agreed upon by lab members:
Our research takes us to lands and waters both near and far, and so we also seek to acknowledge the many Indigenous peoples who have called such lands and waters home for generations before us. While a vital first step in the process of unsettling and unlearning, we find a land acknowledgement on its own to be insufficient for living or working as guests on Patwin lands, in good relation with Indigenous peoples. As we are situated within a neoliberal institution built on a history of settler-colonial dispossession, it is especially important to us to actively work toward being better guests on these traditional lands. While the lands that form the UC Davis campus were not explicitly granted as part of the Morrill Act of 1862, the University of California’s endowment was directly fueled by the ownership and sale of stolen Native land across California. California Indians have survived genocide and the breaking and unratification of treaties across the state.
While condemning the history of violence and genocide against the Patwin people, we also seek to celebrate contemporary efforts of revitalization, resurgence, and resistance. We are committed to working to cultivate relationships with local Indigenous-led groups, learning more about supporting such efforts in many of our research sites, and being good guests through actions in addition to words. We invite you to join us in our effort of taking actions that interrogate, challenge, and upend settler colonialism in the service of building a more just future.
We have financially paid reparations to the Tending and Gathering Garden, a collaborative effort between the Patwin people and the Cache Creek Conservancy and encourage further support of their efforts.
For more about land acknowledgments and the history and present of settler colonial dispossession, please see the following resources: