"Land does not require that you confirm it exists or that it has been stolen, rather that you reciprocate the care that it has given to you."
Joseph Pierce, Cherokee Nation citizen, associate professor of Latin American and Indigenous Studies, State University of New York at Stonybrook
If you are joining the conference in person, your presence in this place, now known as Baltimore, should be coupled with the labor and context of how you came to occupy this place, and your relationship with and to this land. If you are joining the virtual experience, the same work can and should take place with regard to the place where you live and learn.
We encourage you to situate yourself in this labor, and to know that who you are, in relation to where you are, is a vital cognizance. We invite you to sit with this, so that as you progress in both your professional and personal journey towards knowing, you do not exacerbate harm, and instead build your foundation in humility and empathy. Hold this knowledge close, as Indigenous peoples and practitioners have done since the first days of Turtle Island.
These lands and waterways in what is now known as the state of Maryland are ancestral to the Accohannock Indian Tribe, Assateague People's Tribe, Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians, Pocomoke Indian Nation, Youghlogheny River Band of Shawnee Indians, Piscataway Conoy Tribe, Cedarville Band of the Piscataway Conoy, Choptico Band of the Piscataway Conoy, and the Piscataway Indian Nation, all of whom shared this area through their relations and whose descendants are thriving and resisting settler occupation. While not indigenous to Maryland, a large number of Lumbee Indian tribal members migrated to East Baltimore 60 years ago from North Carolina, and remain as current day residents.
In response to constituent requests, staff of Maryland Traditions, the traditional arts program of the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), initiated a Land Acknowledgment Project in April 2020 in consultation with previous MSAC American Indian grantees and the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs. Staff conducted research and engaged in compensated consultations with leaders and elders of tribes whose lands are claimed by the State of Maryland. Staff then developed a public-facing Land Acknowledgement Project Overview and Resource Guide document (published February 2022), featuring best practices, tribal histories and maps, and land acknowledgment statements created by tribal leadership. NASPA thanks the Maryland State Arts Council for allowing us to share these resources.