What is a Land Acknowledgment?
A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.
Why do we recognize the land?
To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honoring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long-standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history.
Land acknowledgments do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol.
AAS2022 Hawai’i Land Acknowledgment
As we convene, we acknowledge Hawaiʻi as an indigenous space where the descendants of the original people are kānaka ʻōiwi or Native Hawaiian.
The ‘āina [ayne-ah – meaning LAND] on which we gather is located in the ahupua‘a [ahhoo-pu-ah-ah] of Waikīkī, in the moku [moh-koo] of Kona, on the mokupuni [moh-koopu-ni] of O‘ahu [oh-ah-hoo], in the pae‘āina [pie-ayne-ah] of Hawai‘i.
We recognize that her majesty Queen Lili‘uokalani [Lee-lee-ooh-oh-kah-lani] yielded the Hawaiian Kingdom and these territories under duress and protest to the United States to avoid the bloodshed of her people, who are recognized in the Kingdom’s law and today as kānaka Maoli. We further recognize that generations of indigenous Hawaiians and their knowledge systems shaped Hawai‘i in a sustainable way that allow us to enjoy her gifts today. For this, We are truly grateful.
*The Association for Asian Studies appreciates the assistance of the Office of University of Hawai’i Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno in crafting this acknowledgement.