Below, please find the CCCC 2023 Land Acknowledgement. I encourage you to offer a Land Acknowledgement to begin your session — or your paper — if no panel acknowledgement is offered at the start. You are welcome to copy the acknowledgement below if you need to. However, I hope you will learn to compose and deliver your own acknowledgement. To help you learn, volunteers staffing the convention’s pop-up writing centres have worked closely with CCCCs American Indian Caucus co-chair, Andrea Riley Mukavetz, to acquire the knowledge necessary to provide you with support. Please drop by one of the pop-ups during the convention for help with Land Acknowledgements (or with those papers or handouts that aren’t quite ready for primetime yet).
CCCC 2023 Land Acknowledgement
This year, the CCCC annual convention gathers on the traditional homelands of the peoples of the Council of Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Bodéwadmi, as well as the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Sac, Fox, Kickapoo, and Illinois nations. Before settlement, this was a space of thriving communities that established a prosperous trade network. Although the United States attempted to exploit the Chicago treaties of 1821 and 1833 to effect dispossession and forced removal of these sovereign nations, today, the city of Chicago is home to one of the largest and most vibrant urban communities of Indigenous Peoples on Turtle Island, with more than 65,000 Indigenous residents representing 175 different Nations.
As rhetoricians, it is our responsibility to understand the history of this place and how this history shapes the knowledge-making, storytelling, teaching, and learning of Indigenous peoples. As scholars and teachers, it is our responsibility to know and to tell the truth of the historical legacies of settler-colonial language and literacy education in residential and settler school systems and contemporary settler-colonialism within our profession.
It is the responsibility of the Conference on College Composition and Communication to make actionable its commitments to healing relations and creating from this healing equal and reciprocal partnerships and alliances with Indigenous, Metís, and Innuit members of our profession. We recognize that to begin this healing, we must address this in substantive ways.
To begin meeting this responsibility, CCCC affirms its commitment to:
- Centering the needs and interests of Indigenous, Metís, and Innuit educators.
- Advancing citation justice broadly and, in particular, advocating for reading, teaching, and citing the work of Indigenous, Metís, and Innuit scholars, writers, knowledge creators, storytellers, and writers. We call on our membership to also make and act upon this commitment
- Ensuring that the organizers of each annual convention focus on connecting convention attendees with Indigenous communities on whose territories we gather to teach and learn with and for all our relations.
- Encouraging panelists at our gatherings, regardless of the subject of their presentations, to reflect on whether or how their work meets the needs and interests of Indigenous, Metís, and Innuit students; acknowledges the contributions of Indigenous, Metís, and Innuit scholars; and addresses and audience that includes Indigenous, Metís, and Innuit peoples.
How you can learn about the Indigenous peoples of Chicago:
Educate yourself about the array of Indigenous community organizations and events in the Chicago Area, which include:
- The Chicago American Indian Community Collaborative: https://chicagoaicc.com/
- The Chicago American Indian Center: https://aicchicago.org/
- The Chicago Field Museum’s exhibit, “Native Truths: Our Voices Our Stories.” You may learn more about the exhibit here: https://www.fieldmuseum.org/exhibitions/native-truths-our-voices-our-stories
Four books you should read about settler-colonialism, academia, and anti-colonial research and writing:
Rodríguez, Clelia O. (2018). Decolonizing Academia: Poverty, Oppression, and Pain. Fernwood Publishing.
Tuhiwai Smith, Linda (1999). Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. Zed Books, Ltd. and University of Otago Press.
Wilson, Shawn (2008). Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods. Fernwood Publishing.
Younging, Gary (2018). Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing By and About Indigenous Peoples. Brush Education, Inc.
Four books you should read that were written by CCCC Indigenous members
Driskill, Qwo-Li (2016). Asegi Stories: Cherokee Queer and Two-Spirit Memory. University of Arizona Press.
King, Lisa (2017). Legible Sovereignties: Rhetoric, Representations, and Native American Museums. Oregon State University Press.
Mukavetz, Andrea Riley with Frances Geri Roossien (2021). You Better Go See Geri: An Odawa Woman’s Life of Recovery and Resilience. Oregon State University Press.
Wieser, Kimberly G. (2017). Back to the Blanket: Recovered Rhetorics and Literacies in American Indian Studies. University of Oklahoma Press (reprint edition).
To learn even more, check out Kimberly Weiser’s terrific bibliography of scholarship produced by NCTE/CCCC American Indian Caucus members, at: https://kimberlywieser.oucreate.com/americanindianandindigenousrhetbib/