Spirituality & Theology

Land Acknowledgement

On Tuesday, July 13, at In Her Honor’s An Evening with Joy Harjo, Cheryl Cohenour read this Land Acknowledgement:

I ask you to join me in acknowledging the Native American communities gathered here today, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations.

Oklahoma (formerly known as Indian Territory) is home to 39 federally recognized Native American tribes. The City of Tulsa is within the tribal boundaries of three of these federally recognized tribes: the Cherokee Nation, the Muscogee Creek Nation, and the Osage Nation.

All Souls Unitarian Church, where we are meeting tonight, is on the the Muscogee Creek Nation land.

We recognize their history and commitment to our community and the land on which they settled, and we honor them with our acknowledgement.

We acknowledge that All Souls Church is on the Muscogee Nation Reservation which is the original land of Osage Nation.

What is a Land Acknowledgement?

According to the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institution, “Land acknowledgment is a traditional custom that dates back centuries in many Native nations and communities. Today, land acknowledgments are used by Native Peoples and non-Natives to recognize Indigenous Peoples who are the original stewards of the lands on which we now live.”

Native American Nations in Oklahoma

Only a few tribal Nations were indigenous to what is now the State of Oklahoma. All others were removed from homelands across the contiguous U.S. to Indian Territory. In 1907 Oklahoma became the 46th state to enter the union. The state’s name comes from two Choctaw words “Okla” and “Homma” meaning Red People.

The above maps show the location of All Souls church within the Muscogee Nation Reservation.

Watch An Evening with Joy Harjo here.

All Souls is a welcoming community. Everyone, regardless of age, race, culture, economic status, gender identity or sexual orientation is welcome at All Souls. Learn more about our programs, services and more at allsoulschurch.org.