College Shares Land Acknowledgement Statement
Dear Campus Community,
In July 2021, under the leadership of Vice President Heather Lobban-Viravong and the Division of Inclusion and Community Engagement, the college embarked on a partnership with the Delaware Tribe of Indians, an opportunity that presented itself through our growing connection to the Perkiomen Valley School District. Since that time, representatives from the tribe have come to campus to meet with faculty and staff who are part of what we call the Welcome Home Project.
The Delaware Tribe of Indians are one among three federally recognized tribes in the U.S. whose ancestors were forcibly removed from the region once called Lenapehoking, which encompassed parts of New York, eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Our partnership with the Delaware Tribe of Indians and the Perkiomen Valley School District is fueled by an interest in bringing greater awareness and knowledge to our community (both on and off campus) about the history and culture of the Lenape people.
Tribal representatives have connected with local community leaders. On campus, they have visited history and environmental studies courses, and there’s a growing exhibit in Myrin Library that’s dedicated to telling the story of the Lenape people.
I am now pleased to share that the college leadership recently approved the following Land Acknowledgment statement:
Ursinus College respectfully acknowledges that our campus rests on Lenapehoking, the ancestral and spiritual homelands of the following five nations: Delaware Tribe of Indians, Delaware Nation, Eelunaapèewii Lahkèewiit (Delaware Nation at Moraviantown), Stockbridge-Munsee Community, and Munsee-Delaware Nation (Ontario).
Our community carries names derived from the Lenape language–names holding spiritual and cultural meaning while also bearing the remembrance of the systematic removal of the Lenape people over 250 years ago by European colonial powers, whose legacy still reinforces and benefits from the Lenape’s disenfranchisement.
Ursinus College commits to collaboration, representation, and inclusion as we work together with the Lenape people to bring about healing and reconciliation between and among all our communities.
This statement has been posted on the college’s website at https://ursinus.edu/land-acknowledgment-statement. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the students in ENV 428 (Political Ecology, fall 2021) for their input as this statement was being developed.
This statement is just a start; the college and the Delaware Tribe of Indians have expressed their intentions for a long-term relationship. I’m pleased that the college has taken yet another step in demonstrating its commitment to inclusion.
President Jill Leauber Marsteller ’78, P’18