November 23, 2020

Manhattan School of Music celebrates Native American Heritage Month

Manhattan School of Music’s Cultural Inclusion Initiative (CII) aims to foster greater understanding of the world around us. This November, MSM honors Native American Heritage Month, an observance of great importance in the United States.

Earlier this year, MSM published its first Land Acknowledgement statement on the CII webpage. This is an acknowledgement of the indigenous tribes who were forcibly removed from the land where we now gather as Manhattan School of Music. Read on below to view MSM’s land acknowledgement, as well as view quotes and resources on the importance of land acknowledgements.

MSM’s Land Acknowledgement

We want to acknowledge that we gather as Manhattan School of Music on the traditional land of the Lenape and Wappinger past and present, and honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations. This calls us to commit to continuing to learn how to be better stewards of the land we inhabit as well.

When we talk about land, land is part of who we are. It’s a mixture of our blood, our past, our current, and our future.

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

Why are Land Acknowledgements Important?

“When we talk about land, land is part of who we are. It’s a mixture of our blood, our past, our current, and our future. We carry our ancestors in us, and they’re around us. As you all do.”
— Mary Lyons (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe)

“[Land Acknowledgements] recognize and respect Indigenous peoples’ inherent kinship beliefs when it comes to the land, especially since those beliefs were restricted for so long.”
— Salina Mills

“It is important to understand the longstanding history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation.”
— Northwestern University


This is only an introduction to an important topic about which all of us should continue to educate ourselves. MSM encourages you to take a moment to click the links below and learn something new.

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