LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT (preface written by Narragansett Tribal Elders)
The Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council is located in what is now known as the State of Rhode Island, on unceded territory that is within the ancestral homelands of the Narragansett Indian Tribe. The Narragansett Indian Tribe, whose ancestors stewarded these lands with great care, continues as a sovereign nation today.
The Narragansett Indian Tribe are the seeds of this land. We are here. We are the people who grew from this land. We are the First Nations. We are the people who have inhabited this land from time immemorial. Turtle Island is soaked with the blood of our ancestors.
We want to take a moment to honor our ancestors who faithfully stewarded our inherent territories, and we want to express our deep gratitude to Mother Earth who has sustained us throughout all these generations.
This very soil is of great cultural and sacred significance; our ancestors have been resting here since time immemorial. Today, you are living and benefiting from this land. We respectfully request that you make the commitment – or the re-commitment – to honor Mother Earth, to follow the leadership and stewardship of Her First Nations, and to respect and uphold Indigenous Sovereignty without violation.
Colonizers have trampled – and continue to trample – on Mother Earth and Her First People; this is how we got to today – with you standing here on Stolen and Violated Land. Our land is sacred to us. We were given an inherent responsibility to protect Mother Earth; not to abuse Her, not to trade Her, not to sell Her, not to make a commodity out of Her. This is OUR way.
The blatant land theft, and the ongoing systematic separation of our people from the land, is one of the most devastating and destructive aggressions of colonization. Take away our land and ancestral territory, and you strip entire humanity from its balance. The time has come to reunite the Land with Her People and end the aggressions of colonization.
The Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council acknowledges that beginning with colonization and continuing for centuries, the Narragansett Indian Tribe have been dispossessed of most of their ancestral lands in Rhode Island by the actions of individuals and institutions. We acknowledge our responsibility to understand and respond to those actions. The Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council commits to working together to honor our past and build our future with truth.
The garden is now run by Native Green, led by the Narragansett Tribal Elders. Questions about the garden can be sent to Native Green at firstname.lastname@example.org.