Dear UConn Campus Community,
On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, I write to you to honor and celebrate the rich history, culture, and contributions of Indigenous peoples across our nation and around the world. I see Indigenous Peoples’ day is an opportunity for reflection, mindfulness and unity, to acknowledge and support Indigenous communities.
Before I go on, however, please take a moment to acknowledge the land on which our university stands. The University of Connecticut is located on the traditional lands of the Mohegan, Mashantucket Pequot, Eastern Pequot, Schaghticoke, Golden Hill Paugussett, Nipmuc, and Lenape peoples. Especially as an Office dedicated to cultivating a healthy relationship between humans and the environment, we honor and respect the enduring relationship that exists between these Indigenous nations and their ancestral lands.
In the spirit Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the Office of Sustainability encourages all members of our community to learn about Indigenous history, culture, and contemporary issues. On campus, one of the best resources for this is the Native American Cultural Program: https://nacp.uconn.edu/.
In the coming months and years, we will engage deeply with the critical issue of environmental justice and will be sharing resources that provide opportunities for education, dialogue, and celebration of the many vibrant cultures and valuable perspectives of our community, including that of indigenous peoples.
I’d like to take a moment to encourage everyone to support Indigenous communities through acts of solidarity and allyship. One simple act is to understand the historical lands upon which you, your loved ones now stand: https://native-land.ca/
Also, I encourage participating in local events, supporting Indigenous-owned businesses, and advocating for Indigenous rights and environmental stewardship. A good place to start is here: https://career.uconn.edu/blog/2020/11/24/native-american-owned-small-businesses/
Indigenous Peoples’ Day reminds us to reflect and take action for an equitable, just and sustainable world. Let us use this day to honor the resilience and wisdom of Indigenous peoples while also acknowledging the challenges they continue to face.
Thank you for joining us in recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and for your ongoing support in our shared commitment to sustainability and inclusivity at the University of Connecticut.
Director of the Office of Sustainability
University of Connecticut