Minnesota Public Health Association
Since 1907, MPHA has been dedicated to creating a healthier Minnesota through effective public health practice and engaged citizens.
This statement was developed by the Minnesota Public Health Association's Health Equity Committee and its partners, for use at all MPHA gatherings. Additional background information is below.
MPHA freely offers other nonprofits to share and adopt this statement.
We ask that you take a moment to honor and acknowledge that we are on the ancestral homelands of the Dakota and Anishinaabe. Indigenous people have a long-standing history and connection to the land since time immemorial, and are the original stewards of lands and waters. Many American Indians were forcibly exiled from their lands because of aggressive and persistent settler colonialism and U.S. Governmental policies, but they persevered. We make this acknowledgement to honor the Dakota and Anishinaabe people, ancestors and descendants, as well as the land itself.
In fall of 2019 public health colleagues informed the MPHA Health Equity Committee that Macalester College adopted language acknowledging indigenous lands at conferences and other events. This was done with respect to the nations that lost their lands to colonialism over the decades. Specifically, Macalester acknowledges that they exist on Dakota lands. The Dakota people are especially sensitive to this history and continue to this day to experience being pushed aside with repercussions because of the Dakota war, treaty abolishment and termination of their homelands as well as removal in 1863 in the Dakota Removal Act, which remains on the books to this day. It is our understanding that the State of Minnesota has never apologized for those previous atrocities. Because MPHA has existed for over 100 years in Minnesota we thought it appropriate that we similarly acknowledge and honor the people and lands.
The MPHA Governing Council approved adoption of this statement January 9, 2020. Special appreciation is given to the MPHA Health Equity Committee and its community partners, American Indian cultural consultants and leaders.