If you have recently attended a Sunday service, you know that the ministers and worship associates have begun opening the services with an updated “Land Acknowledgement”, recognizing that we gather on land formerly occupied by indigenous peoples. The last part of that acknowledgment says the following:
“We were not the people who took this land, but neither do we wish to create our community at the expense of any other. So we begin with awareness and gratitude and pledge to join the Tamien and Ramayatush people whenever they ask for solidarity.”
In keeping with this pledge to respond to requests for solidarity with our local indigenous peoples, the Action Council recently made a donation to a new Land Acquisition Fund for the local Amah Mutsun tribe. Our donation will help seed the Land Acquisition Fund, which will help the tribe be prepared to buy back ancestral lands when such an opportunity arises (as the Miwok tribe in northern California was recently able to do).
This donation was made as part of a matching campaign launched by our February Justice Partner, SURJ** Sacred Heart, and was part of a pledge to the fund made by Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice on behalf of its participating congregations. SURJ Sacred Heart’s goal was to raise $20,000 for the matching fund. They actually exceeded that goal and are now able to make a total donation of $51,707 as the starting balance for the Land Acquisition Fund. Their hope is that this success will encourage other organizations and people to create their own fundraising and matching campaigns for the fund. In the Amah Mutsun Land Trust’s own statement about the new fund, they stress that “by contributing to the Land Acquisition Fund, you are directly supporting the return of ancestral lands.”
When Indigenous people return to and protect their ancestral lands, we all benefit. Thank you for supporting UUCPA and the Action Council in living our values!
**Showing Up for Racial Justice