As we honor Indigenous People’s Day, we begin with an important acknowledgement:
We acknowledge and honor the fact that Orange County is located on the traditional and unceded lands and waters of the Acjachemen and Tongva Tribal Nations. Land acknowledgments allow us to reconsider practices of power and privilege. They allow us to unveil histories that aren’t shared in contemporary educational systems while uplifting the experiences and visibility of Native peoples.
We respectfully recognize our responsibility to the original and current caretakers of the land, air and water; we recognize the Acjachamen and Tongva Tribal Nations, and all of their ancestors and descendants — past, present and future. As we work in partnership with Tribal members we hope that our collaborative work will uplift the voices and spirits of everyone dedicated to the protection of our community.
Yesterday, October 10th, in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, our nation paused to acknowledge and celebrate the strengths, histories, and resilience of Indigenous Peoples. The journey to recognizing this day has not been a short one and in fact, only last year was officially recognized as a day of observance by the President.
Recognition of the second Monday in October as “Indigenous People’s Day” was initially proposed in the 1970’s during a United Nations Conference. In 1992, the City of Berkeley abolished Columbus Day and officially recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day. In 2019, Governor Newsom issued a proclamation officially recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The proclamation honors and celebrates the “perseverance, rich diversity and contributions of all Indigenous peoples from the first peoples of this place to those from across the globe who now call California home.”
One of the eight goals identified in the recently adopted Orange County Grantmakers Strategic Plan is to engage with Native Nations. One of the first steps we’ve taken is the inclusion of Indigenous speakers from Native Nations in Southern California on multiple panels at our Breaking Breaking Barriers: Partnership, Power Sharing & the Collective Good Summit. Tongva, Chumash and Acjachemem community members raised awareness about local Indigenous perspectives on topics including Language Justice, Social Justice, Land Rematriation and Land Use Planning.
This year, in honor of Indigenous People’s Day, we are thrilled to share our commitment to partnership and dialogue. We invite you to find ways to celebrate and recognize Indigenous People’s Day in your own community. This could include participating in a local event or supporting and highlighting Indigenous-led nonprofits and organizations.
Celebrating and acknowledging Indigenous People’s impact in our community on October 10th is a start. To have true impact however, we know that long-term support is needed. We invite you to be a part of our shared journey.
To learn more and for ways to give:
What Are Land Acknowledgements And Why Do We Do Them
Native Land Acknowledgements Are Not The Same As Land
Our Sacred Waters: Theorizing Kuuyam as a Decolonial Possibility
Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples
Acjachemen Tongva Land Conservancy
Orange County Community Foundation
Orange County Grantmakers