Land Acknowledgement

To better understand the history of our school and the land we are on, the 3rd grade class asked the driving question: “How can we show respect for the people whose ancestral land Saklan is on?”

After learning our school is on Saklan Bay Miwok territory, students wondered, “Is that where our school got its name? What would Saklan people feel is a good way to be respectful of them and this land?”

They learned about the Saklan and Bay Miwok cultures by reading articles and watching videos with local Indigenous voices before visiting Cafe Ohlone

The students asked the cafe founders, Louis Trevino (Rumsen Ohlone) and Vincent Medina (East Bay Ohlone), who both also have Bay Miwok and Saklan ancestry, about their thoughts on the driving question.

Vincent told the students that some of the best ways to honor Bay Miwok people and their ancestors today are to:

  • learn about the people whose ancestral land you are on
  • respect their culture and remember that they are still here
  • and share your knowledge with other people to tell the whole true history of the land you are on.

Vincent also said that land acknowledgments are special, but they must be written with respect and great care. He also stressed that they should include the people whose land you are on when you are writing it.

Third graders and their teachers decided one way they could answer their driving question, “How can we show respect for the people whose ancestral land Saklan is on” was to write a land acknowledgement for our school! 

Collaborating with other staff and researching a variety of land acknowledgments from other schools and organizations, students identified key aspects to include. Each picked one aspect to write in a small group before putting all the sections together to edit as a class. Students gave the draft to Saklan staff before before sending it off to Louis and Vincent and The Sogorea Te Land Trust for their edits.

The students were excited to share their land acknowledgement and the process of creating it at CLAS last week.

Click here to view the land acknowledgement.

Creating this acknowledgment is only one important step in repairing the harm and broken promises that began when this part of the world was colonized. 


Author: The Saklan School Friday Blog

The Saklan School is a private Pre-K through 8 school located in Moraga, CA. Our mission is to think creatively, act compassionately, and live courageously.

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