Harold Godwinson doesn’t appear to have had much time for immigrants. To be fair to Harold the class of foreigners he didn’t like crossing his frontiers were not political refugees or fruit pickers, they were after his kingdom. Harold was an Anglo-Saxon. The inevitable merger of Angles and Saxons had taken place a few generations prior. It helped forestall hostile takeover attempts from restless Viking and French invaders. I don’t want to give away the ending too early but Harold was, as it turned out, the last Anglo-Saxon King of England. He was already Earl of Wessex when he was crowned King just under a millennium or so ago this week. The coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on the feast of the Epiphany. Just as I didn’t want to give away the ending I don’t want to mix metaphors, but the crown was a poisoned chalice. Harold was about…
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An emerging trend among institutions and organizations is the formal recognition of the traditional custodial relationship between native people and the land. According to Friedler (2018), land acknowledgment can also raise awareness about histories that are often suppressed or forgotten.” Formal land acknowledgment may be as limited as recognition of a historical presence on the land or a more a clear rejection terra nullius and the Doctrine of Discovery. All land acknowledgment statements, however, share an expression of respect for indigenous peoples, recognize their enduring relationship to the land, and raise awareness about marginalized aspects of histories.
The land acknowledgment movement is particularly strong in several former British colonies. In his piece in the New Yorker on September 7, 2017, Stephen Marche said, “you know a phenomenon has really arrived in Canada when it involves hockey.” Marche continues, “both the Winnipeg Jets and the Edmonton Oilers began acknowledging traditional lands in their announcements before all home games last season.” According to the New York Times (Burke, 2018), the movement has spread across Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, and is moving across the United States. In fact, Dr. Amy Farrell-Morneau of Lakehead University in Ontario pointed out “nearly every university in Canada has a land acknowledgment statement (Farrell-Morneau, 2018). The movement is not limited to higher education but is also trending in nonprofits throughout Canada and beyond.
In the United States, the movement has spread throughout the art community (Burke, 2018). The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Abrons Art Center, Performance Space (PS122), Danspace Project, and Gibney of Tribeca all have a land acknowledgment policy. Some forms of land acknowledgment may be signage in lobbies or a written statement in organizational brochures or event programs. Theatrical performances may begin with a brief verbal land acknowledgment. For example, the standard preshow curtain speech at PS122 in New York City states the theater “is situated on the Lenape island of Manhahtaan (Mannahatta) and more broadly in Lenapehoking, the Lenape homeland” (Burke, 2018).
The movement has spread to colleges and universities across the United States. Small colleges like Emerson College in Boston, Goshen College in Indiana, Washington University in St. Louis, and Seattle Central College have all adopted land acknowledgment statements. Larger institutions have departmental or institutional land acknowledgment statements as well including Columbia University, Harvard University, Michigan State University, New York University, Northwestern University, Stanford University, Syracuse University, University of Illinois, and the University of Virginia. In Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Smith College, Amherst College, Hampshire College, and Mount Holyoke College issued a joint statement regarding land acknowledgment. The land acknowledgment movement is spreading coast to coast, to institutions and organizations, big and small, public and private.
In Colorado, there are four institutions leading the way in land acknowledgment. In December 2018, Colorado State University issued an institutional land acknowledgment statement. At the University of Denver Morgridge College of Education Higher Education Department, every academic convocation begins, “by first acknowledging that the University of Denver sits on Cheyenne and Arapaho land, who are the original Stewards of this land.” DU goes further and states, “We also wish to acknowledge all other Indigenous Tribes and Nations who call Colorado home. It is because of their sacrifices and hardships that we are able to be here to learn and share knowledge to advance educational equity” (DU, 2018). The University of Colorado Department of Ethnic Studies has a land acknowledgment statement embedded on the department webpages and the recent graduation ceremonies at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design included a brief land acknowledgment that RMCAD sits on land that the Ute, Arapaho, and Cheyenne once roamed.
In addition to CSU, CU, DU, and RMCAD, there are 15 other four-year institutions of high learning in Colorado. All fifteen were contacted in December 2018 and asked if the institution had a land acknowledgment statement and, if not, if the institution was considering a statement (institutions who did not respond were also re-contacted in January 2019).
Peter Han of the Office of the President at the Colorado School of Mines responded that, at this time, Mines does not have a land acknowledgment policy. Carol Osborn, Executive Assistant to the President of Adams State University similarly responded that ASU does not have a current policy. Ronald Shape, President of National American University personally responded and, after emailing further with Dr. Shape’s staff, it was determined that there was not a current policy, but that the institution was interested gathering more information regarding the land acknowledgment trend in higher education. Western University’s Bryan Boyle indicated that Western does not have a land acknowledgment policy. The University of Northern Colorado also recently responded, stating that the question would be forwarded to the appropriate office and to expect a response in the near future.
Two state institutions did not respond to the media request for this article were Mesa University and Metro State University who were all contacted on December 21, 2018. In addition, eight private colleges and universities were also contacted but did not respond: Lance Oversole of Colorado Christian University (12/11/18), Colorado Technical University (12/22/18), Sam Fleury of Columbia College (12/21/18), Ms. Shaults of DeVry University (12/22/18), Ms. Kochel and Ms. Shively of Johnson & Wales University (12/21/18), Naropa University (12/21/18), Nazarene Bible College (12/21/18), and Jennifer Forker of Regis University (12/11/18).
Nonetheless, Marche (2007) concludes, “acknowledgment is spreading. No level of government has mandated the practice; it is spreading of its own accord. There is no single acknowledgment. There are many acknowledgments, depending on where you are in the country…The acknowledgment forces individuals and institutions to ask a basic, nightmarish question: Whose land are we on?”
Crafting a land acknowledgment statement is not difficult. Amnesty International (2017) has a simple three-step guide to land acknowledgment: (1) Name which Indigenous territories you are currently on; (2) Explain why you are acknowledging the land; (3) Address the relevance of Indigenous rights to the subject matter of your event or meeting or to your activist work in general. The nongovernmental USDAC (2018) has a similar three-step process of Identify-Articulate-Deliver.
Melissa Jacob, Ohio State University’s Office of Student Life Multicultural Center, pointed out that the practice of a formal welcome and territory acknowledgment is an old tradition Native American culture, particularly when hosting guests and when traveling to neighboring tribal communities. Jacob (2018) also stated that land acknowledgment is not an expensive or intrusive policy. While land acknowledgments might seem like lip-service or national back-patting to critics, Flournoy (2016) pointed out that the effort is worth it considering the legacy of marginalized history and rise of the rhetoric of exclusion. We all ought to acknowledge our history, as we live in the present and look forward to the future.
Amnesty International. (2017). “Activism Skills: Land and Territory Acknowledgement.” Retrieved from https://www.amnesty.ca/blog/activism-skills-land-and-territory-acknowledgement
Burke, S. (2018). “On This Land: Dance Presenters Honor Manhattan’s First Inhabitants.” The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/01/arts/dance/indigenous-land-performing-arts-theaters.html
Farrell-Morneau, A. (2018). “Land Acknowledgment.” Retrieved from https://teachingcommons.lakeheadu.ca/land-acknowledgement
Flounay, A. (2016). “What Does It Mean to Acknowledge the Past?” Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/31/opinion/sunday/what-does-it-mean-to-acknowledge-the-past.html
Friedler, D. (2018). “Indigenous Land Acknowledgement, Explained.” Teen Vogue. Retrieved from https://www.teenvogue.com/story/indigenous-land-acknowledgement-explained
Jacob, M.B. (2018). “Centering the Land: The Importance of Acknowledging Indigenous Land and Lifeways.” The 2018 ACPA Convention. Retrieved from http://convention.myacpa.org/houston2018/centering-land-importance/
Marche, S. (2017). “Canada’s Impossible Acknowledgment.” The New Yorker. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/canadas-impossible-acknowledgment
United States Department of Arts and Culture. (2018). “Honor Native Land: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgment.” Retrieved from https://usdac.us/nativeland/
University of Denver Morgridge College of Education. (2018). “Land Acknowledgment.” Retrieved from http://morgridge.du.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Land-Acknowledgement.pdf
Here are a few other optional links on Rational Choice if you’re interested:
And: Rational Actor Model Theory
As REM sang in 1987, “This one goes out to the one I love This one goes out to the one I’ve left behind…”
“President and Mrs. Obama built/has a ten foot Wall around their D.C. mansion/compound,” he wrote then. “I agree, totally necessary for their safety and security. The U.S. needs the same thing, slightly larger version!” (December 30, 2018)
First of all, Trump wanted a wall across the southern border of the United States, not around every individual home, but, whatever…
This week, at the first cabinet meeting of the New Year, there were a couple of other questionable comments about walls.
“Look, look, when they say the wall’s immoral well then you — you’ve got to do something about the Vatican because the Vatican has the biggest wall of them all.” (January 2, 2019)
That’s a repeat of when Trump aide Dan Scavino tweeted in 2016 that the Pope was a hypocrite on immigration because Vatican City was surrounded by massive walls. As CNN’s Daniel Burke wrote at the time: “Yes, the Vatican does have walls, and some are quite large. But anyone can stroll through the Pope’s front yard — St. Peter’s Square — at nearly any time.”
“Look at all of the countries that have walls and they work 100%.” (January 2, 2019)
So, I took Trump up on this statement and here’s a look at walls, past and present.
There’s the Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall + Antoine’s Wall, Wall Street, The Berlin Wall, the DMZ, the Israeli-Palestinian Barrier….
Though it may be called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland today, it all began in Wessex almost 1100 years ago. From Wessex to England, England to Britain, Britain to Great Britain, the UK has had a few names changes as it grew from one of the seven Heptarchies into the British Empire. Here are the stories of the monarchs who ruled.
Alfred the Great
Edward the Confessor
House of Normandy
William the Conqueror
The House of Plantagenet
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Richard the Lionheart
Hundred Years War
House of Lancaster
House of York
War of the Roses
House of Tudor
House of Stuart
English Civil War
The Glorious Revolution
William and Mary
House of Hanover
House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
House of Windsor
27 Dec 2018 @realDonaldTrump: This isn’t about the Wall, everybody knows that a Wall will work perfectly (In Israel the Wall works 99.9%). This is only about the Dems not letting Donald Trump & the Republicans have a win. They may have the 10 Senate votes, but we have the issue, Border Security. 2020!
Me: You mean where they have shoot to kill orders?
@DaveSteffenhage : Every time you shoot its shoot to stop the threat. This usually winds up being a kill. Don’t kid yourself.
@DaveSteffenhage Ok, let’s get something clear, border agents as well as IDF are in a very dangerous job. Ask them. It’s not political to them it’s daily reality. You want them protected? They both need a nice big wall.
Me: I didn’t realize you’ve been to the border; I’ve worked on the border and talked to many agents, I think I know a thing or two about it:
@DaveSteffenhage: Now I’m surprised, you use phrases like shoot to kill but your involved in border security? You seem to be in Favor of illegal migration with all the risks it poses to both illegals and border agents yet your involved in border security? This doesn’t make sense.
Me: No, I haven’t worked in border security, I’ve worked along the border. I ran immersion workshops to bring border agents, migrant service organizations, and others together to discuss border security and safety.
Me: Most of the people on the American side of the border want high tech not low tech.
Me: Not all agents agree either way mind you, but most people like the president who talk about a low-tech physical Wall haven’t been to the border and don’t understand the regional economy or maintenance costs and such. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/27/border-sheriffs-president-trumps-border-wall-not-silver-bullet/97142608/
Me: For example there’s a strip of fence near El Paso where there is a physical barrier but there’s less high tech; I have personally witnessed people just going under the fence through a storm drain into the United States. We need high tech and increased people + foreign aid
@DaveSteffenhage: I’m in favor of using all tools necessary to stop illegal border crossing. It doesn’t sound like you are. The border agents questioned in the survey below want a border wall as well as high tech tools.
@DaveSteffenhage: The border patrols union surveyed them and found they were in favor of the wall Something tells me you didn’t ask a lot of agents about the wall. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/2/border-patrol-agents-back-trump-wall-survey-finds/
Me: That feels like an unfair dig. If you aren’t going to take me at my word, there’s little reason to go back and forth. It’s also unclear whether you read the article you posted; it says agents want a wall as part of a system in strategic locations.
Me: If you think I’m in favor of illegal migration then either I’m not expressing myself clearly or you’re projecting what you think I believe on to me. I am opposed to illegal migration. But I’ve been to the border, I’ve interviewed agents, and I would say 70% are against the Wall.
@DaveSteffenhage: Yes I did read it and I agree with the findings. I think a wall at strategic locations as well as other barriers be they electronic or physical will work. I wasn’t saying you were being dishonest, just that you didn’t ask that many agents. The survey was of 600
Me: The section of the border I worked along is primarily rural, and those agents wanted hi tech when I interviewed them, but clearly in hi traffic areas a physical wall makes more sense. There’s no one size fits all.
@DaveSteffenhage: Another Caravan is coming
@DaveSteffenhage: By the way another illegal just killed another cop in California. The cop was Ronil Sigh. A legal immigrant. https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/27/us/suspect-california-police-officer-killed/index.html
@DaveSteffenhage: I know one thing for sure, border agents are sick of drug traffickers and human traffickers having it so easy. Ever seen a rape tree while on the border? It’s time to use every means necessary. That includes building walls.
Me: I believe in using wall at strategic locations like the border agents survey said, but not building a total wall just for the sake of building a wall. In rural areas, hi tech and manpower are more important as the border sheriffs and others have said.
@DaveSteffenhage: Exactly. The fight now is purely political. The democrats won’t allow any funding of a wall at all. Placing politics above national security. I guarantee the next president will do nothing. Especially if it’s a democrat. It needs to happen now.
Me: I’m glad you agree that the fight is purely political and that the supposition of a “wall” is relative, I just wish Trump understood what you understand: that as the agents’ survey states of “adding a ‘wall system’ in strategic locations” but not necessarily everywhere.
Me: If only we could get the partisans to understand that the wall is a local issue. While the national sheriffs association wants a Trump wall, local sheriffs say otherwise https://www.foxnews.com/us/border-wall-effort-getting-boost-from-us-sheriffs-crowdfunding-site …
@DaveSteffenhage: The wall is a national security issue.
Me: Hahahah… yup, how’s that demand for a northern border wall coming? https://nationalpost.com/news/world/northern-aliens-around-100000-canadians-live-under-the-radar-in-u-s-as-illegal-immigrants … Oh, wait, its because the southern undocumented immigrants are brown and the northern undocumented immigrants are white, right? But you wouldn’t say that, would you…
@DaveSteffenhage: Are you fucking kidding me? Your calling me a racist? I’ve NEVER said a damn thing that’s racist! I’m in favor of border security at both borders! Take it back fucking NOW!
Me: Why is it a wall in the south and “border security” in the north?
@DaveSteffenhage: Calling someone racist nowadays can lose them their jobs, reputation, friends. That’s why leftists call people racist every chance they get. It ends the debate when they know they aren’t winning. I don’t want to lose my job or reputation so I’m out.
For the record, I didn’t get an opportunity to clarify, I was blocked before I received the notification/message. This is a person that I’ve debated on Twitter for 6 months or so and who uses the words ‘Democrat,’ ‘Hillary,’ ‘liberal,’ leftist,’ dossier,’ and ‘FBI’ as if the terms are swear words. In other threads, my patriotism is questioned as is my commitment to stop drug dealers and rape. Even in this thread as you can see I was essentially called a liar. Perhaps I went too far at the end, perhaps not. However, the ‘take my ball and go home mentality’ with the ‘getting the last word’ is frustrating when people want to make declarative statements but become offended when the declarative statements are made to or at their expense.