Land acknowledgment provides an opportunity for BGSU to recognize the historical and cultural significance of the Indigenous people who lived and continue to live in this region. The BGSU land acknowledgment statement can be used in a wide variety of settings across campus in spoken, written and digital modalities.
Land Acknowledgment Statement for Written Delivery
Bowling Green State University and its affiliated campuses are situated in the homelands of numerous Indigenous and Native tribal nations. Our campus footprint holds many contemporary and historical ties to the Wyandot, Kickapoo, Miami, Odawa, Potawatomi and multiple other Indigenous tribal nations, present and past, who were forcibly removed to and from the area.
This area's history reveals an arterial network of complex economic and cultural significance. We recognize the stewardship, dedication, and presence of those for whom the Great Black Swamp and the Lower Great Lakes region is home. Through this statement, we aim to trace the past to the present to inform current conditions. It is within BGSU's responsibility as an academic institution to disseminate knowledge about Indigenous peoples and the University’s relationships, past and present, with tribal nations and individuals.
As such, we recognize the forced relocation of tribal nations to and from this land and we strive to decolonize history and present conditions. We thank Indigenous individuals and communities who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. This type of acknowledgment must not only be through statement, but in action and practice as well, in order to foster an inclusive, respectful and sustainable community.
Land Acknowledgment Statement for Oral Delivery
The region in which Bowling Green State University and its campuses are situated inhabit the Great Black Swamp and the Lower Great Lakes region. This land is the homeland of the Wyandot, Kickapoo, Miami, Potawatomi, Odawa and multiple other Indigenous tribal nations, present and past, who were forcibly removed to and from the area. We recognize these historical and contemporary ties in our efforts toward decolonizing history and thank the Indigenous individuals and communities who have been living and working on this land from time immemorial.
Land Acknowledgement Statement for Email Signature Lines
Bowling Green State University’s campuses are situated on the homelands of the Wyandot, Kickapoo, Miami, Potawatomi, Odawa, and multiple other Indigenous nations, present and past. This statement is a first step toward fostering an inclusive, respectful, and sustainable community. For more information, visit https://www.bgsu.edu/land-acknowledgment.html
If you have questions or additional information, or to get involved, please contact BGSUlandack@bgsu.edu.
Frequently Asked Questions
Land acknowledgment provides an opportunity for BGSU to recognize the historical and cultural significance of the Indigenous people who lived (and continue to live) in this region. The land acknowledgment statement can be used in a wide variety of settings across campus in spoken, written and digital modalities.
Through acknowledgment of the Indigenous peoples and tribal nations for whom this area was and is homeland, we can render Native histories and Native presence visible, express gratitude for their stewardship of the land and recognize the ways in which the work of decolonization needs to continue.
Ohio has no state or federally recognized tribal nations within its borders. This contributes to a perceived absence of Native peoples in the state. Many people assume that Native presence in Ohio is not a contemporary issue, and nothing could be further from the truth. Land acknowledgment is a first step that BGSU can take toward decolonization through additional programs, initiatives and partnerships.
The BGSU land acknowledgment statement is an expression of gratitude and appreciation. As such, we encourage the use of the statement in several ways:
- Read the oral version of the BGSU land acknowledgment statement at the beginning of the first class or club or student org meeting of the semester.
- Include the full written BGSU land acknowledgment statement within course syllabi, on the canvas shell, in club/student org materials, on department or program webpages or email signature lines.
- Read the oral version of the BGSU land acknowledgment statement at the beginning of public guest lectures, workshops, activities or performances occurring beyond regular classroom or club/student org activities.
No. There is no requirement to include the BGSU land acknowledgment statement on your course syllabi. However, as BGSU strives to be an inclusive learning community, this statement on course syllabi is one of the ways in which faculty can support the Strategic and Foundational Objectives of BGSU toward a culture of inclusion and respect.
Please see below for written and audio pronunciation guides to each of the tribal nations’ names.
- Wyandot (WY – un – dot)
- Kickapoo (KICK – uh – poo)
- Miami (my – AM – me)
- Potawatomi (Pod – uh – WAH – doh –me)
- Odawa (oh – DAH – wah)
Yes, this statement has been approved for use at the departmental and college levels. Feedback and support have been received from each of these entities: Undergraduate Student Government, Graduate Student Senate, Firelands Student Government, Classified Staff Council, Administrative Staff Council, College Council - Firelands, and Faculty Senate.
If you would like to join the committee, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the next step?
Explore Educational Opportunities at BGSU
Learn more about Native American histories and cultures through BGSU coursework and programs. When searching for events and/or scheduling classes, look for Native American speakers and topics. Search courses offered by departments such as Ethnic Studies, History, English, and Theater & Film. Also consider researching Native and Indigenous topics for class assignments.
- Lecture Series: In the Round
- Native American Creatives LibGuide
- ACS 2500 LibGuide: Cultural Pluralism: Native Americans
- HIST 2210 LibGuide: North American Indigenous Peoples
Education Beyond BGSU
Educating and/or re-educating oneself concerning Native American histories and contemporary issues facing Tribal Nations is an important step towards understanding and action. And while histories are significant, it is important to remember that Native Americans are NOT relics of or in the past. There are 574 federally-recognized tribes in the United States, 63 state-recognized tribes, and many tribes that are unrecognized. Awareness of the everyday presence and contributions of Indigenous peoples situates all of us within the spaces we work and live.
Below are resources that provide crucial information and insights to Native American histories, cultures, worldviews, and activism in Ohio and throughout the US.
- “The Forgotten History of Ohio’s Indigenous Peoples,” MIDSTORY, Jessie Walton (BGSU Alumnus, ’21), July 16, 2020.
- Black Swamp Intertribal Foundation, Jamie Oxendine (Director and BGSU alumnus)
- American Indian Movement of Ohio
- Cleveland American Indian Movement
- Myaamia Center
- Miami Nation of Indians of the State of Indiana
- Miami Tribe of Oklahoma
- Kickapoo of Kansas
- Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas
- Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma
- Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma
- Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians
- Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
- Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
- Wyandotte Nation
- Pokagon Band of Potawatomi
- Citizen Potawatomi Nation
- Forest County Potawatomi
- Hannahville Indian Community
- Match-E-Be-Wash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (Gun Lake Tribe)
- Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi
- Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation
- Guide to Indigenous Land and Territorial Acknowledgements for Cultural Institutions
- “Are You Planning to do a Land Acknowledgement?” by Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children’s Literature (updated October 30, 2016)
- “Why Give a Indigenous Land Acknowledgement (and How to make It Matter)” by Cheryl Crazy Bull, American Indian College Fund (December 4, 2020)
- Acknowledging Native Land is a Step Against Indigenous Erasure. Insight into Diversity. Mariah Stewart, December 19, 2019.
- “OPINION: Land acknowledgments fall short in honoring Indigenous people” by Summer Wilkie, Cherokee Phoenix (February 6, 2021)
- “Recognizing Place: Indigenous Land Acknowledgements” by Alexander Cotnoir, Audubon Vermont (July 15, 2021)
- HONOR NATIVE LAND: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgement, U.S. Department of Arts & Culture.
- #HONORNATIVELAND (video), U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, (October 3, 2017)
- “Acknowledging Native Homelands,” by Christine DeLucia (2020)
Updated: 06/01/2022 11:49AM