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Swarthmore College Announces First-Ever Indigenous Land Acknowledgement

Swarthmore College Announces First-Ever Indigenous Land Acknowledgement

“As good stewards, we must […] formally recognize that the College sits in Lenapehoking, or the Land of the Lenape, and honor the Indigenous Americans who cared for this land for generations.”

Why are they just doing an acknowledgement? Why not give the land back?

The College Fix reports:

Swarthmore College creates first-ever Native American land acknowledgement

After two years of work by a special 10-person task force, Swarthmore College recently announced its first-ever indigenous land acknowledgement is ready to go.

In a statement, Swarthmore President Valerie Smith said “As good stewards, we must […] formally recognize that the College sits in Lenapehoking, or the Land of the Lenape, and honor the Indigenous Americans who cared for this land for generations.”

The land acknowledgement’s website notes the Swarthmore community can use the text at “the beginning of a College class, meeting, or event,” in an email signature, or on posters and signs.

The site also says the acknowledgement alone is “insufficient”; Swarthmore also must “strengthen [its] recruitment efforts of Indigenous students, faculty, and staff members” as well as its “ongoing training and education” to maintain the retention of same.

In her message, President Smith said the land acknowledgement task force also recommended the creation of a fund to “lift up the work, values, and concerns of Indigenous people,” and a “permanent standing committee” — headed by an indigenous leader — “to create a collaborative relationship” with local Lenape tribes.

Land acknowledgement task force co-chair Carr Everbach told the student paper The Phoenix the acknowledgement was important for sustainability: “Swarthmore must manage its resources, including its land, in a sustainable way or else it will degrade […] It has already degraded in many ways.”

Everbach added that he hoped to establish relationships with Lenape tribes in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Ontario and “would love to see a regular presence of Lenape people” at Swarthmore to assist in “stewarding the land through the critical upcoming decades.”


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De Tocqueville in Democracy in America wrote in relevant part:
“Although the vast country just described was inhabited by numerous tribes of native peoples, one can justly say that at the time of its discovery it was still no more than a wilderness. The Indians occupied it but did not possess it. It is through agriculture that man takes possession of the soil, and the first inhabitants of North America lived by hunting. Their implacable prejudices, their unbridled passions, their vices, and, perhaps most of all, their savage virtues marked them out for inevitable destruction. The ruin of these tribes began the day that Europeans landed on their shores. It has continued ever since and is even now being carried through to completion. Providence placed these people among the riches of the New World but made their enjoyment brief. They were there, in a sense, only in anticipation. These coasts, so well suited to trade and industry, these rivers so deep, this inexhaustible Mississippi valley, this whole continent, in fact, seemed but an empty cradle awaiting the birth of a great nation. Here civilized men would attempt to build society on new foundations. Applying for the first time theories either previously unknown or deemed inapplicable, they would stage for the world a spectacle for which nothing in the history of the past had prepared it.”

It is a sad state of affairs in American universities when Land Acknowledge Statements are substituted for histor

My wife and I drove to the grocery this morning and saw a Tesla with a vanity plate that read “CO2FREE.” This action by self-appointed people who know better is little more than virtue signaling just like that license plate.

Anyone want to give odds that the fund they’re creating ends up being a grift that somebody’s going to make money from?

“We, the faculty of Oxford University, acknowledge that our Anglo-Norman ancestors took the land upon which we stand from a bunch of Danes, who took them from some Anglo-Saxons, who took them from some Celts, who were defenseless as the Romans bugged out because their empire was being overrun by Goths, who were being pushed out of their lands by Huns, who were probably being harrassed by Mongols or something. Anyway, it’s turtles all the way down.”

I can’t help but notice a glaring lack of commitment to the whole ridiculous ordeal. There’s no push for closing the uni and giving the land back.

Swarthmore ’67 here. In my time Paul Booth was just forming SDS there. The College is incredibly wealthy, its endowment includes all of James Michener’s royalties after death. It is a center for DEI and BDS. Instead of a statement, maybe they could spend down their endowment by giving reparations to all the Lenape descendants.

retiredcantbefired | February 28, 2023 at 7:20 pm

When an academic institution closes down and returns the land to a tribe, then we’ll know that the administration means what it says.

A more truthful land acknowledgement would read like this:

Swarthmore College occupies a place that was originally the home of dozens of large mammals such as the mammoth, the mastodon, three species of camels, the glyptodon, the giant beaver, the short-faced bear, the dire wolf, the American cheetah, the ground sloth, the giant sloth, and the American horse. These animals were slaughtered to extinction by raiding groups of Asian immigrants who occupied North America. We honor the memory of the many species that would be here if they had not gone extinct to provide food and clothing for our predecessors.