St. Mary’s College of Maryland launched an initiative to acknowledge the land on which the College sits and its historic links to Indigenous Peoples and their territories.
Members of the St. Mary’s College community had a shared desire to honor historical links between Indigenous Peoples and the College. This materialized with the 2020 Margaret Brent Award and Lecture – an imprimatur of the College that is officially bestowed by the College president and organized by the Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies program – which featured Sarah Deer who is a professor at the University of Kansas and an activist for Indigenous women.
Another factor was the unique educational mission of the College as The National Public Honors College which centers on, among other things, being accessible and diverse. Thus, the College community will endeavor to continue to unearth and understand historic realities so that they inform the work of everyone on campus. This, in turn, enhances the College’s ability to become more accessible, inclusive and equitable, especially for those populations most affected by societal inequities.
The goal of the land acknowledgment and pledge is not only to respect and honor the contributions of Indigenous Peoples and enslaved people of African descent, but to support and learn from all diverse communities in order to build a more sustainable future.
The land acknowledgment and pledge, which will be featured in permanent plaque installations across campus, included in faculty syllabi, and read at the beginning of events on campus, states the following: