As individuals and organizations living and working on occupied and unceded lands, the Coordination and Translation Center (CTC) has a responsibility to include and support Indigenous and Native communities and sovereign tribes in our work.
Led by George Mason University, the CTC uplifts the following land acknowledgement statement: “At the place George Mason University occupies, we give greetings and thanksgivings to these Potomac River life sources, to the Doeg ancestors, who Virginia annihilated in violent campaigns while ripping their lands apart with the brutal system of African American enslavement, to the recognized Virginia tribes who have lovingly stewarded these lands for millennia including the Rappahannock, Pamunkey, Upper Mattaponi, Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Nansemond, Monacan, Mattaponi, Patawomack, and Nottaway, past, present, and future, and to the Piscataway tribes, who have lived on both sides of the river from time immemorial.”1
The CTC also includes partner organizations that occupy unceded lands from the following Nations and people: the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, the Apalachee, Seminole and Muscogee Nations, the ancient Calusa, Uzita and Tocobaga, Ho-Chunk, Pocumtuc Nation, Manahoac, Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), Peoria, Kaskaskia, Bodwéwadmi (Potawatomi), Myaamia, Anishinaabeg – Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi. Additional land acknowledgement statements are available from the following partner organizations: Michigan State University, Florida State University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Massachusetts. To learn more about American and global colonialism, please visit Native Land Digital.
Finally, we acknowledge the work we need to do to correct the damage that the War on Drugs and the criminal-legal apparatus have inflicted on marginalized communities and individuals. This requires dismantling the racist structures and systems present in academia and scientific research. The CTC affirms our responsibility for and commitment to working toward a more racially and ethnically just society. The CTC and JCOIN have undertaken efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Network and to ensure pathways and opportunities for scholars and practitioners who identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
Our work has just begun, but it is imperative. We will continue striving for these critical changes.
1 Center for Mason Legacies. (2022). Land acknowledgement statement.