To the Willamette Community,
We would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather is occupied territory of the Kalapuya.
The community that we are a part of is built on generations of hopes, dreams and vitality of people from around the world. Some people were brought here against their will, some have fled their homes in search of a better quality of life and some have lived here for more generations than we know. We pay respect to the Kalapuya, past, present and future, and we must respectfully recognize the history of this land and its people. This effort starts with acknowledging what has been buried by honoring the truth.
We have lived, worked and created a community on the land of the Kalapuya. Their land was taken under Cession 352. Today the Kalapuya are members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians. Both nations were terminated and restored, which are unique histories. Willamette University’s founding connects to the initial colonial developments in the Willamette Valley with the Oregon Mission Indian Manual Labor Training School established in 1834. Following the closure of the school in 1844, the Oregon Institute, Willamette University’s predecessor, was founded upon the exclusion of many Indigenous peoples, including the Kalapuya. This history impacts past, present and future students of Willamette.
When the University Administration does not make efforts to acknowledge the history of violence experienced by the Kalapuya, student organizations must take it upon themselves to do so. The Collegian has historically not done its job in representing the voices of all students, especially Indigenous students and those from marginalized communities. Previously, stories written in The Collegian have misrepresented the history of this land, institution and other Indigenous issues, and have attempted to bring light to these topics without consulting the appropriate folx. In doing so, The Collegian has perpetuated the invisibility of Kalapuya within Willamette University. We would like to follow those on this campus who have acknowledged the history of this land. Please take a moment to consider the many legacies of violence, displacement, migration and settlement that bring us together here today. Join us in uncovering such truths at any and all public events and spaces.
This Land Acknowledgement was co-written by Adrianna Nicolay and Amarit Ubhi.