We encourage all CCCC 2019 presenters to use this or a similar land acknowledgment in their sessions before they present. We have provided the phonetic pronunciations of the Seneca and Lenape words as they would be spoken by native speakers of these languages. Below the acknowledgment you will also find several resources.
To open our session, I as the chair of this session and our panelists would like to recognize and acknowledge the indigenous people of this land: the Lenni Lenape, Shawnee, and Hodinöhšönih (hoe-den-ah-show-nee) — the six Nations, that is, the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, Cayuga and Tuscarora. We are gathered today on Jö:deogë’ (joan-day-o-gan’t), an Onödowa’ga (ono-do-wah-gah) or Seneca word for Pittsburgh or “between two rivers”: the welhik hane (well-ick hah-neh) and Mënaonkihëla (men-aw-n-gee-ah-luh). These are the Lenape words for the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, which translate to the “best flowing river of the hills” and “where the banks cave in and erode.” While a land acknowledgment is not enough, it is an important social justice and decolonial practice that promotes indigenous visibility and a reminder that we are on settled indigenous land. Let this land acknowledgment be an opening for all of us to contemplate a way to join in decolonial and indigenous movements for sovereignty and self-determination. Lastly, I am grateful to Melissa Borgia-Askey and Sandy Gajehsoh Dowdy for valuable etymological and pronunciation help. Also, we thank Andrea Riley Mukavetz and the American Indian Caucus for helping with this land acknowledgment.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSXL33JiKLY (pronouncing Hodinöhšönih)
- http://www.talk-lenape.org/results?query=M%C3%ABnaonkih%C3%ABla&lang=lenape (Lanepa Talking Dictionary, pronouncing Mënaonkihëla)
- https://senecalanguage.com/ (Onöndowa’ga:’ Gawë:nö׳, Seneca Language and Allegany Language Department)
- https://sni.org/ (Seneca Nation of Indians Web site)
If you have questions, please contact Andrea Riley Mukavetz, American Indian Caucus Co-Chair.