Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Statement

GTFF Stands in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island

GTFF leadership recognizes the historic violence of the white supremacist colonization of millions of Indigenous peoples and hundreds of different nations on Turtle Island. This historic structure of colonization is continued through the erasure of Indigenous histories by the US settler government and pop culture, including colonial holidays such as “Thanksgiving.”

The historically revisionist narratives behind this day help to uphold colonial memory and settler domination, and must be questioned and re-conceptualized through the perspectives of Indigenous peoples themselves–many of whom have protested the continued celebration of this holiday and its colonial myths.

We encourage our members (and all others residing on stolen land) to use their time today to learn from Indigenous nations about their individual names and histories, to study the meaning and praxis of decolonization, and to collaborate with their local communities to build power in resistance to ongoing colonial violence.

University of Oregon Land Acknowledgment
(produced in consultation with the Grand Ronde and Siletz nations)

The University of Oregon is located on Kalapuya ilihi, the traditional Indigenous homeland of the Kalapuya people. Following treaties between 1851 and 1855, Kalapuya people were dispossessed of their indigenous homeland by the United States government and forcibly removed to the Coast Reservation in Western Oregon. Today, Kalapuya descendants are primarily citizens of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, and they continue to make important contributions to their communities, to the UO, to the lands now known as Oregon, and to the world.

In following the Indigenous protocol of acknowledging the original people of the land we occupy, we also extend our respect to the nine federally recognized Indigenous nations of Oregon: the Burns Paiute Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the Coquille Indian Tribe, the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, and the Klamath Tribes.

We express our respect to the many more tribes who have ancestral connections to this territory, including the Chinook Indian Nation and the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes, as well as to all other displaced Indigenous peoples who call Oregon home. Hayu masi.

Beyond Land Acknowledgments

“Land acknowledgements are a necessary step toward reconciliation and Indigenous resurgence, particularly in predominantly white settler institutions like the UO that exist solely because of the forced removals of Indigenous peoples—in this case Kalapuya peoples—from their homelands and relations. However, they’re only basic, minimum, first steps. More importantly, I think, is to develop a series of specific initiatives, asks, or commitments that make substantive contributions to the historical relationships and contemporary accountability acknowledgements, at their best, call us all to enter into with one another and with the peoples, histories, and lands of this place.” – Professor Kirby Brown, Cherokee Nation

More resources on moving beyond land acknowledgements, shared by Professor Brown:

  • Lecture by Yurok, Karuk, and Hupa scholar, Cutcha Risling Baldy on moving past land acknowledgements.
  • Blog post by Lac Ste. Anne Métis scholar Chelsea Vowel laying out questions about land acknowledgements in concise and accessible terms.
  • Education Teachers’ Federation of Toronto statement on going beyond land acknowledgements, as well as what territorial acknowledgements are, what they mean, and why they’re necessary.

Local Indigenous Organizations Working for Indigenization & Decolonization

Interested in chairing the GTFF Native & Indigenous Peoples Caucus? Reach out to to express your interest.