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May 10, 2022 44 mins

Land acknowledgements are all the rage in some parts of the world. But they also open a can of worms if not done properly. Learn all about this increasingly common practice today. 

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Welcome to Stuff you should know, a production of I
Heart Radio. Hey, and welcome to the podcast. I'm Josh,
and there's Chuck and Jerry's here too, And this is
stuff you should know. That's right. This is about Land

(00:21):
Acknowledgements and Libya, one of our awesome writers, helped us
put this together. And I was just noticing the other
day when we're uh, when we're thinking about topics and
who should tackle them, it feels like everyone has I mean,
everyone can do everything, but like some feel like this

(00:42):
should be so and so because it just feels like
a fit and a new Libya this would be a
great fit for her, and she did a killer job
because this is a tough one. Land Acknowledgements is a
uh controversial thing, mainly because of the ukeyness in which
it's carried out In most cases, Boy, you just said

(01:04):
a mouthful friend. Yeah, so Land Acknowledgements. If you don't
know what we're talking about, um, if you've possibly ever
been to a Montreal Canadians game in character, I just
I show up at a concert at a large venue
in Canada. I'm going to see uh uh, the reunion

(01:24):
of of of Poison and Everyboddy cc deville and I
met the the Enormo Dome and someone that looks like
you walks out with a microphone before the show and go, okay,
we acknowledge that this poison show is about to take

(01:44):
place on First Nation's Land. Who were excellent stewards of
this land and on with the show, perfect bad example. Yes,
that was supposed to be bad. That wasn't just me. Yeah,
and that's the last time we're gonna laugh in this episode. Disagree.
We always say that, and then there's something funny that

(02:07):
comes up. But it is a very it's a serious
topic because it's something that hasn't been figured out. It's
still very contemporary, it's still very raw. It rouses a
lot of emotions. It's a um one of the one
of those spear points of the spear of like the
culture wars in America and from what I gathered Canada
as well in Australia, New Zealand probably yeah um. But

(02:29):
the whole point of the land acknowledgement is to basically say, like, hey,
this land was probably stolen, It was probably taken from
broken treaty. The people who originally lived here are probably
forced off the land. Um, there's still in terrible shape
in a lot of ways today compared to their white
or black or Latin X or Asian um counterparts in

(02:52):
this country. Um. And you know, we should probably do
something about that. At the very least, we should acknowledge
it and like keep them from getting erased from history.
And it's in its ideal form, that's what a land
acknowledgement is. But the problem is is like there's a
lot of people out there, especially who are probably right
of center, who don't want to hear that kind of stuff.

(03:13):
They don't like that a's snowflakes stuff. There are people
left of center who are like that is the most
vapid thing I've ever heard. It makes no difference whatsoever.
And the fact that you're even saying it makes things
worse than if you didn't say anything at all, Like
go back and go just go away. Um. And there's
the people who are actually doing these land acknowledgements who

(03:35):
very frequently are like corporate hr reps you know who
who are who are doing it to like, you know,
whitewash their company's activities elsewhere. Um, it's just a mixed bag.
But yet the reason why it's important is because there's
some kernel there that's that that is important, that that
makes sense, that makes it worthwhile and worth exploring and

(03:58):
not just tearing down, not just going ahead and doing
you know, wrote but actually like using it as a
jumping off point for like, you know, kind of re
exploring and revisiting history and then hopefully, um, creating redress
to that history. Yeah. Boy, well said it was off
the cuff. You mean you wrote it down in your cuff. Yeah,

(04:20):
and read it. Yes, and I'm wearing my very nice
little or fanany cufflinks. It's very nice. She was staring
back at me admiringly the whole time. Alright, So we
should dive into a little bit of the history here,
because if you go to Australia, um, you know, thousands
of years ago, you would find something called welcome to

(04:41):
country ceremony from indigenous people, which was sort of a
protocol diplomatic protocol where a nation or a tribe would
visit another person's land and they would the people that
hosted them would have a welcome to country ceremony. It
might have been a poem or a saw long. There
might have been a smoking ceremony. You know what I'm saying.

(05:04):
And in the mid nineteen seventies, white Australians started getting
into this idea in this practice. And it was that
year in nineteen seventy six, there was a group of
Maori and Cook Islander dancers who were coming. They were
invited to come to a performance, a multicultural dance performance

(05:24):
in Perth at the International Arts Festival there and they said,
you know what, We're not gonna come unless we are
welcomed by the traditional owners of this land. Uh. In
nineteen seventy six they said this, And it was a
performer named Richard Wally UH and a member of And boy,
I think I'm gonna do my best with these pronunciations.

(05:46):
I really really tried this time and looked everything up
because part of you know, the problem with a bad
land acknowledgment is some dumb white person mispronouncing the name
of a tribe or indigenous person like this. UH. Do
you want to give a go on this one? You?

(06:07):
This is your section, all right? I And you know
the troublesome part about the internet, as you can find
different pronunciations. But what I landed on was was in
Western Australia, these were the UH younger people, very nice.
Chuck spelled n y o O n g a R.
So they all agreed that this should happen. They got

(06:29):
permission from the elders and he welcomed the visitors and
this was Richard Wally uh in that language and sang
a song from their people. Yeah. And Richard Wally was
a member of that that those people, so he you know,
there was a there was a legitimacy to him performing this,
this welcome to country ceremony, welcoming these dancers who very

(06:50):
rightfully and very traditionally said we're we can't really step
foot in Perth unless we're welcomed, like that's just custom. Um.
And so it's very interesting to me that you can
races phenomenon back to one arts festival in Perth in
nine six and this one incident, this one happening, and
it just kind of spread from there. Um. It didn't

(07:11):
like spread like wildfire or anything like that. It was
pretty sedate. Um, it was wrapped up in like midnight
oil stuff. Throughout the eighties, you know, that kind of
radical politics, I guess you could say, um to where
probably people on the first left were the ones who
were carrying out welcome to Country ceremonies are having those
UM performed at their events. And then in the nineties,

(07:33):
UM Australia really started to kind of like self reflected
its history of its treatment of Aboriginal UM Australians and UM.
One of the things that kind of came out of
that that self reflection was this this idea that Welcome
to Country ceremonies were like a really great way of
honoring this heritage and UM kind of bringing Aboriginal culture

(07:56):
back into Australian society where it had been so you know,
zealously pushed out for so long. Yeah, and this sort
of morphed over, I guess between the seventies and the
nineties in Australia to where the Welcome UH to country
was in some cases replaced by a land acknowledgement or

(08:17):
an acknowledgement of country, which would and this was in
the beginning days, would be a short speech, like we said,
it would recognize the traditional landowners that were local UH.
And in the eighties and nineties it was sometimes an
Indigenous person doing this, sometimes a non Indigenous person doing this,

(08:37):
and eventually the National Indigenous Australians Agency UH came up
with UM basically some guidelines, right. Yeah, they basically said,
like that whole welcome to country thing, like, do not
do that unless you're an indigenous person. And if you're
an indigenous person, you should only be doing it if

(08:58):
it's you know, your people's land that this event is
being held on. If you're non indigenous or you're indigenous
but not a member of the land, what you'd be
doing is an acknowledgement of country, which is just basically
like what you would call the land acknowledgement today, where
you don't have to be indigenous, you just basically acknowledging
that the land, um, you know, was originally owned, inhabited,

(09:19):
trod upon, used, cared for by UH, an indigenous group
or if you want to really just kind of you know,
miss the whole thing to say indigenous people in general.
UH in Canada is where it took off in North
America first. And this is not that long ago. This
was about what seven years ago in Canada's Truth and

(09:44):
Reconciliation Commission released a big report that year basically addressing
the residential schools and the removal and we should do
at episode about this for sure, the removal of indigenous
children from their families and basically said this was a
cultural genesis. And this is when Justin Trudeau was coming
into office and he was really big on you know,

(10:07):
and during the campaign for sure on reconciliation with Indigenous
people is a big part of his platform and something
he wanted to get accomplished in office. Yeah. And so
like just like in Australia, the idea of land acknowledgements
seemed to be a really good low hanging fruit um
as far as kind of reintroducing the presence of indigenous

(10:30):
First Nation people into Canadian society um and and you know,
not ignoring them, not erasing them history actually you know,
acknowledging them and in the past that that this that
took place here um or there in Canada. Um. But
the thing is that it also kind of like underscores

(10:51):
just how easy it is, which can be problematic as
we'll see too. Yeah for sure. Uh, you know, it
spread from Canada to the US. It trickled down south
in the late uh two thousand teens is how you
would say that, like two thousand seventeen, two thousand eighteen,

(11:11):
Uh seen the US Department of Arts and Culture, which
sounds like a government agency. But it's not. It's an
independent group. They published a guide to land acknowledgements for
the United States. Uh. The group's founder, Adam Horowitz, came
out and said that it was downloaded more than seven
thousand times. And uh, he said, one lonely beast ib

(11:34):
all by myself. I got nobody very nice and very
bad dad joke. I thought it was a great joke.
I didn't even think it was dad. I don't think
you can make a dad joke about the beast boys
unless you had on your cuff. What was it? Can you?
Can you say your version the King ad Rock? That
is my name, and I know the fly spot where

(11:55):
they got the champagne. Uh. I taught my daughter a
line that was not something that a kid should say
when she was like four, and Emily was so mad
at me. She was so afraid she was going to
say it in kindergarten. And I think she's forgotten him
by now. Uh. I'll tell you off the air. Okay,

(12:16):
sorry everybody for that tease. But now in the United
States you will find cities like Denver, Phoenix in Portlands
that have adopted these guidelines. The National Park Service has
NASA has you might have heard it at the Academy
Awards or the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, or the Democratic
National Convention, not the Republican National Convention. Uh. And so

(12:38):
this is a thing that is kind of brand new.
If you look at a timeline over the past three
or four years, that America is treading into very gingerly, gingerly,
awkwardly keeps running into the doorframe, all sorts of different stuff.
And I think before we kind of go back into uh,
you know, why you would even do this and how

(13:00):
you would do it, I feel like we should take
a commercial break, let's do it. So. Um, there are

(13:24):
a number of recency to to use the land acknowledgement.
And again this is usually what opens your meeting, your conference. Um,
you know, like you could see it if you're in
a beautiful like conference hall in like the woods, in
a kind of a beautiful remote area. I can totally
see that. But I've also heard of these things being

(13:46):
used on like conference calls and just at regular meetings
in the city. UM. Just it's so it can get
kind of weird. But the overall point of it is
that if you are um, if you're not an indigenous person,
and you're reading a land acknowledgement, Supposedly you're thanking the
the people of the who used to live there um

(14:11):
in pre colonial days, um for being stewards of the land. Um.
You probably also are, in some way, shape or form,
whether subtly or overtly, also acknowledging that violence is why
they don't live there anymore, um and violenced by the
um white colonists and and and or the federal government.

(14:34):
And then also, if you really want to make your
land acknowledgement pop, you can say, and this is how
how we can build connections to these people who have
been harmed and are still harmed um. And it can
get even more nuanced than deeper than that. Yeah. And
you know it's a mouthful to get up before your

(14:58):
your work conference and talk about people being raped and
murdered and displaced and treaties broken, and the fact that
the oppression of Indigenous Americans is ongoing and the problem
is far from solve, Like that's that's gonna put a
damper on whatever awesome energy you're trying to start with.

(15:21):
So it's a sales conference, Yeah, So it's people are
trying to figure out the best way to do that,
and sometimes, as we'll learn, it is a a shorter
acknowledgement where they will then point people to, hey, our
company has this website or a page on our site
properly so, uh, where you can really dive in and

(15:45):
learn about what we can do and this is what
our own company is doing, including hiring programs or training
programs with the people who once lived here. Uh. That
is the ideal, is that it's a you know there
there's actually something being done and it's not just words
being spoken. So you know, they're still trying to figure

(16:06):
this out. Who knows where it will end up, but
it's been a little clumsy so far, like you said,
bumping into doorways. And there are also other, like, um,
other reasons why people do land acknowledgements rather than just
kind of like make their their company look you know
with it or sympathetic or I was not going to
but yes you could use that word. One of them

(16:29):
is to to just show solidarity and support for the
idea of truth and reconciliation. To just say, like, oh,
you wanted to pump all the biffs and muffies up
to go sell a bunch of mufflers. Well, t s
because I'm going to suck the air out of this
room with this clunky Land acknowledgement, and it's gonna make
them think a lot more than this, you know, little

(16:51):
page that you guys have on your website that five
people are going to visit in the history of the internet,
you know. Um, So I think there are some people
who say, like, yeah, that's exactly what's supposed to be
is to kind of suck suck people into it. UM.
Also another big thing is to kind of um begin
to repair relationships between UM, American society and the indigenous

(17:12):
cultures that have kind of been pushed out of American
society and continue to be kept there. UM acknowledgement of
the fact that like the American government that a lot
of really terrible stuff to Indigenous people in addition to
enslave people in the past, and that just by talking
about it in random, weird places makes people think about it.

(17:34):
It keeps it from being a race. It actually does
the opposite of keeping it from being a racist kind
of scribbles it almost like graffiti into everyday life of people. UM.
A good Land acknowledgement could do that. So there's a
lot of different reasons to do it beyond what I
think most people who are opposed to land acknowledgements accused
people doing that of which is morally performing. It's more

(17:57):
like exhibitionism is what a lot of people chat owing
you with, and it's it's not it's not supposed to
be at least that's right. Uh So, I guess we
could talk a little bit about how you go about
doing this to begin with the first thing that there's
something called the Native Governance Center, which is a nonprofit
Native led nonprofit that has resources for Native nations. And

(18:20):
you know it's a good place to start because they
will say, hey, if you go to do this, the
first thing you should do is take a good hard
look in the mirror as a company, and why are
you doing this to begin with? And if your reason
is just too rattle off something so you appear to
be uh, forward thinking and acknowledging something and it's sort
of a blithe way, then that's not a good reason

(18:41):
to do it. After that, after you have made made
that right within yourself as a company and you want
to press forward, then you have to do some research
because you can't just open Wikipedia and say, oh this, uh,
the apple headquarters is built on the land of these people,
because it says so right here in the sentence. So

(19:01):
let me just type up a quick little thing that
that that that the and we're done. Um. It is
very it can be very challenging to find who the
indigenous peoples of the land are because they moved around
a lot and because they were forcibly removed a lot. Uh,
they sometimes traveled with the waters and the river ways,

(19:23):
and it's it's not as easy as you might think.
So you have to really put in the work to
to really find this out. And as we'll see, one
of the controversies is putting that onus, on the indigenous
peoples and saying, well, hey, let's just go find some
of them and let them do this research for us.
And now we're not gonna pay him or anything like that,

(19:43):
but like, we want to get it right, and they
want to get it right right, so let's do it
for us, right, Yeah, I saw that. Compared to so
like a land acknowledgement is basically like a receipt that
a thief gives you after stealing your stuff, but then
having an indigenous group actually create the land acknowledgement for
you is having somebody that you've just stolen from write

(20:03):
the receipt to themselves on your behalf. That's ultimately what
you're doing. Yeah. So um uh, there are actually like
um websites, there's apps that have been set up to
to help make land acknowledgement research a little easier. UM.
I found one. You can text your ZIP code to

(20:23):
nine oh seven three one two five eight five. That's
not a rick roll or spam. I tried it myself
and it texts you back, um a name of like
the group that you are, um that lived in your area.
That seems like the Simpsons, doesn't it kind of a
little bit if yes, But if you just um, if you,

(20:47):
like you said, you just take that copy and paste
it into your land acknowledgement and that's that. Then you've
just done something that's worse than not doing a land
acknowledgement at all, which is an incompetent inept um thought
lists land acknowledgement. There's there's that's literally worse than not
doing a land acknowledgement. Yeah. So, after you've done your

(21:07):
research and you have really found out the true origins
of the people of that space that you're in, uh,
you should reach out to them. Uh, And like I said,
not just dash off your own a few lines on
on your computer, but actually get in touch with them
and say, hey, um, I don't want you to do
the work for me, but can we work together on this?

(21:29):
And how how would how would you like this to
go down? How much detail would you like? And it
can be as if and you know, maybe follow their lead,
uh for a change and see what they want. And
they said that that's a really good second step. Yeah.
And you've also you might not be able to fit
as much detail as you want to or certainly everything
you turn up in your research if you do decent research.

(21:52):
Because again Land acknowledgements in following kind of that tradition
of welcome to country um ceremonies. They go at the
beginning of an event. And because these are such random events,
from a corporate retreat to a Canadians hockey game, like
it's it's bolted onto the front. There's no easy way

(22:13):
to put it in there except to just do it.
And so to take up a lot of space at
the beginning of a Canadians game or a corporate retreat
or whatever, explaining like the detailed history and like inner
tribal relations between you know, the people who lived on
this land before and then their their dealings with the
United States government and like their removal, and what are

(22:34):
they doing today? What can we do to help them?
Like that's that's not what land acknowledgements are meant to be.
But ultimately, for a satisfying, like decent good land acknowledgement,
you have to figure out how to distill that down
into just a few sentences. It's almost like writing poetry,
you know, dude, retirement job for us? I guess we

(22:57):
should start up the land acknowledgers dot com and at
the beginning of every single thing, Josh and Chuck show
up and do a short stuff right, just say give
us fifteen minutes and we will speak of all the
atrocities and bring this room down to its lowest point
and then say thanks everybody. Uh and Microsoft right us

(23:20):
a big fat check. That's right, We'll say, short stuff out.
Short stuff is out, and so are we. Man. That
could be a pretty good gig for us. Yeah, I
think you're right, Chuck. We actually I'm I was wondering
what we were going to do in retirement, but now
I not do that. I have a real sense of
security now, thank you. So one of the things you're
probably going to run into though, to Chuck is you

(23:41):
were saying like it's it's not as straightforward, is oh,
this is the people who used to live here. I'm
just gonna copy and paste. You have to do some research.
And when you're doing research, you're going to find out
that there might be like more than one group that
claims land to this, So that kind of opens up
a whole cuddle of worms too while you're making this,
because the whole point of this is to acknowledge the
people who whose land this was. And if you suddenly

(24:04):
have two groups who are saying this is my land, no,
this is my land, you're about your non indigenous person
about to step into to kick your event off right,
to step into hundreds of years old hornets nest um.
You know, you really have to be careful. If you're
gonna do this right, you need to understand a lot
more than what it takes to just write a few sentences.

(24:26):
Is again, I just really wanted to hit that point. Yeah,
and you know it can go beyond just land acknowledgement. Uh,
there's also something called land and labor acknowledgement where if
you do your research, you might find, all, right, there
were the indigenous peoples that lived here, but then this
very town, this very city was sort of built on
the backs of enslaved Africans, and that's the only reason

(24:49):
why this place is a place now. So let's include
that the University of Chicago's land and labor acknowledgement UH
mentions the four native nations that were forcibly removed of
in what is Chicago what is now Chicago, and that
the university was built on land donated by a man
named Stephen A. Douglas whose fortune was the product of

(25:10):
enslaved Africans. So you know, once you open this can
of worms, it's it's pretty clear that there is a
lot of acknowledgement to go around. Yeah, and usually it's institutional.
I mean, like you could trace the history of any
plot of land, find all sorts of horrific things that
individuals have done to other individuals, but it's usually you're
way Ultimately you're tracing, like institutional violence against groups. Is

(25:35):
the point of land acknowledgement or labor acknowledgement. What's that is?
If you start scratching beneath the surface of the history
of any city, Chuck, you find that virtually none of
them were built on rock and roll. It was way
darker than that in every case. I don't know what
Jefferson Starship was talking about. They were just lying, flat outlying. Yeah.

(25:56):
It makes me really second guess the whole White Rabbit
thing too, although that was Jefferson Airplane. But you know
what I mean, I know what you mean. Sure, I
know what you mean. I'm hip, I'm I'm fly is
because you just made it. We built the city on
rock and roll reference the worst song in the history
of music. Oh, I don't know about that. Oh come
on you, Oh sure I do. I'm not like guilty Pleasure,

(26:20):
not like my favorite song. I don't have it on
on my phone or anything. But if it's on I
will there's a seventy percent chance I won't turn it.
You know what guilty Pleasure song I've been rocking this week,
which is a great song, and I shouldn't even call
it a guilty pleasure, but uh, the Sign by Asa Bass,

(26:41):
Oh yeah, all of their work was really good. It's
such a great song and my daughter loves it now.
And when you have a kid who loves something, They're like,
I want to listen to it four times on the
way to school. So I've been singing the sign for
two weeks straight in my head. It's pretty great. That
is good. Are you wearing like a little black ribbon choker? Now?
H No? But I'm ashamed about my love of asa

(27:03):
basis or something as you should be guilty, schmilty. You know,
I'll tell you something as far as guilty pleasures go,
that I'm pretty happy with. Uh. I watched the Betty
Broadrick Story starring Meredith Baxter Bernie Um from Remember That.
She was a woman who um was divorced by her husband,

(27:25):
uh and did not take that very well and kind
of went off the rails, culminating in her going and
sneaking into her ex husband and his his new wife's
bedroom at night and murdering them both with a gun.
And Meredith Baxter Bernie, the mom from Family Ties, is
the one who plays Betty Betty Broadrick, and she does

(27:45):
it so well and it's like a two part, three
hour made for TV movie. It's on Amazon Prime if
you have that, and it is every minute of it
is just wonderful and great to watch. Yeah, I love
some of this stuff, Like, let's red ject Prestige TV
that's going on now and let's just go back to
those days. I say, we just include all the good stuffing. Also,

(28:08):
one more thing while we're while we're not talking about
anything about land acknowledgements for a minute, have you seen
um Promising Young Woman? Oh yeah, sure, it was a
really good movie. I had no idea, but it was.
I would highly recommend that as well. Yeah, it was awesome.
So before we talk about criticisms, which we'll get to last,

(28:29):
we should talk a little bit about the ideal, which
is um that it that it doesn't just stop there
on stage with an acknowledgement before you kick off the
muffler sales conference. Uh. There are ways that you can
actually take action to make things better for Indigenous people
because they're still suffering today. In in a lot of cases. Uh,

(28:50):
it might be political Uh causes that are championed by
Native Americans. It might be uh, universities offering free tuition
for Indigenous I was about say kids, but people of
all ages. I guess I mentioned hiring programs by those
very corporations that now sit on that land. Uh. Those
are all some great things that you companies can do

(29:13):
to take action. Yeah, and you as a person, as
an individual, if there's things that you want to do, UM,
you can show up to Native American rallies just to
show support. UM. You can. There's a movement in UM
Seattle called Real Rent do Amish UM, which says, hey,
if you live in the Seattle area, you should pay
rent to the do Amish tribe because this is the

(29:35):
original land. UM. And the reason why there's so much
to do is because Native Americans in the United States
have lived in this limbo um world just again, just
kept out of American society for so long, and unlike Canada,
unlike Australia, the United States has not engaged in anything

(29:57):
even approaching a truth and reconciliation and or any kind
of deep reflection about the history and the historical treatment
of Native Americans in America UM. And so this still continues.
And so like Native American is UM likelier to live
in in poverty more than any other group in America. UM.

(30:18):
The there's a huge problem of the UM missing and
murdered Indigenous women and girls, which is such a problem
it has its own acronym m M I W G.
And that of course deserves its own episode two. We've
gotten requests for that before. Um. Apparently there's also an issue.
Olivia writes that Native American kids are frequently taken away

(30:42):
from their families and put with white foster families, even
when there's no evidence of abuse in the house. So,
I mean, there's still there's so much stuff we could
be doing for Native American people in the United States
that it completely undermines in a lot of ways the
very presence of land acknowledgement because people say, like, there's

(31:02):
so much to do that is that has nothing to
do with it, like, actually go do the actual stuff.
And I saw this, um, this article by a guy
named Graham Would. It was in the Atlantic. It's called
land acknowledgements are just moral exhibitionism. He was the one
who basically said that, you know, getting a Native American
or an indigenous person to write your land acknowledgement was

(31:24):
like getting them to write the receipt for the land
you sold from them, you know. Um, he said, I'm
gonna quote Some people argue that land acknowledgements are gestures
of respect. I'm not sure one can show respect while
also being indifferent to a people's existence. The statements are
counterfeit versions of respect. Teen Vogue put it well, if
unintentionally quote land acknowledgement is an easy way to show

(31:46):
honor and respect to the indigenous people. And he goes
on and then he says, real respect occurs only when
accompanied by time, work, or something else of value. Learning
basic facts about a particular tribe might be a start.
And I think that's the whole idea, is that this
is a starting point and the bare minimum for what
should be a series of steps, especially if you're a corporation. Yes,

(32:10):
now that's a huge thing. Like you know, it's one thing.
If you're a person and you're having like a like
a poetry slam and you do this, that's cool. You're
you're probably more likely to actually be doing something of
action to help Indigenous and Native American people than the
corporation is who's having land acknowledgements researched and written and

(32:31):
performed at their retreats and their conferences and stuff like that.
And so it's really well within fair game to call
corporate America out about using land acknowledgements because they're doing
virtually nothing in the real world to help Indigenous and
Native American groups, and in fact, in a lot of
ways are actually oppressing them further and continuing their oppression

(32:54):
and keeping them in a cycle of poverty. You got
big cust today, my friend, little orphan, these crying chrome
plated tears right now. All right, let's take our last
break and when we come back, we'll talk about some
of the criticisms. Uh, and sort of poke around a
little bit at the land back movement as well. All right, Uh,

(33:33):
if we're gonna talk criticisms of land acknowledgements, we already
talked about sort of um a lot about the criticisms
of you know, how they're done poorly for people that
support them, but there are people that don't support doing
them at all. Um. The United Conservative Party of Canada,
when they took control in Alberta, stopped land acknowledgements period.

(33:56):
And uh, you know, right wing Canadian politicians have called
it just political correctness. I'm sure here in America the
word woke and woke is m has been used to
refer to stuff like this. But there's also criticisms that
like history isn't even being portrayed accurately to begin with. Yeah,
so you know there's there was a huge kind of

(34:19):
I guess a political fight in um Montreal when the
Canadians started um started doing land acknowledgements for their games.
They were thanking the ganyin Geha tribe or the Mohawk
nation is how most of us know of them. Um.
And then it came up after they started doing these

(34:39):
people were like, I don't think this was actually their land, Like, yeah,
they lived here, but I don't think it was their land.
So the Canadians had to um revise it a little
bit and they still um included the ganying gei ha
um uh like reference um, but they also um observed
or acknowledged other ribes too. But then a lot of

(35:01):
people are like, see, can't even get it right historically,
Why is anybody doing this at all? And other people
are like, look, yes, we we got it slightly wrong historically,
but that's certainly no reason to throw this out um entirely.
And the point is to like actually acknowledge these people
and that their land was stolen, you know, even if
you don't get it exactly right. And that's a that's

(35:23):
a big debate too. Yeah, and just the the the
way that you talk about this land is can be
a little problematic to begin with, because it wasn't you know,
it's not appropriate to say that they owned this land
because the idea of ownership to Indigenous people of land
wasn't even a thing. Uh. You know, I guess a

(35:45):
lot of times I think they're called for being stewards
of the land. Uh that's I guess an acceptable work
around in a lot of cases. But I know that
it's it's all just sort of a lightning rod for criticism,
you know. Yeah, the idea that there's stewards of the land. Um,
I mean the like there's some Native American culture saw

(36:06):
that themselves as that, but others are like, no, you know,
we belong to the land. So this doesn't make any
sense at all. And then what's more, we really care
more about these bodies of water than we do the land.
Are you guys mentioning that kind of thing? Um? So yeah,
there's almost all criticisms come back to land acknowledgement doing
it wrong. And then if if somebody's really hopping on

(36:27):
a very small thing, they probably don't like the idea
of land acknowledgements in the first place, or acknowledging the
plight of indigenous peoples in their country. UM. But ultimately,
if you do agree with it and you have a
problem with it, it's it's that it's being done wrong
is usually what your problem is. Yeah. And again, if
you uh were to reach out to these people to
begin with, you have a way better chance of getting

(36:48):
it right, I think. Right. Um. The other thing is
that if you're not actually saying, if you're just saying,
we acknowledge that this land used to be uh inhabited
and cared for by indigenous peoples who lived here, and
and you know, that's it. There's almost like an unspoken
like and thanks to them for that. Um, You're you're

(37:13):
keeping the the existence of how that land changed hands
from those people to your conference center, you know, and
all the history in between. And all you're doing is
perpetuating keeping the history of Indigenous people out of society
outside in a mythic past that can be easily romanticized too,
because Native American tribes did a lot of unsavory stuff

(37:36):
or that we would today find unsavory and a mythic past.
Two that puts you at risk of, like, you know,
turning the Native American people into the noble savage um,
which is a huge issue in and of itself to UM.
But again it comes back to just doing it right,
doing your research, doing it right, and then fitting it
into a comprehensive but concise land acknowledgement. Yeah, for sure,

(38:01):
and all of this. You know, I mentioned the land
back movement. Uh. This is this is a different topic.
But I think we can sort of cover the broad
strokes here at the end. Uh. The idea of giving
land back to these people. It sounds crazy, like, how
would we even do that? But it has happened a
little bit here and there, which may surprise some of you. UM.

(38:23):
The land back movement in the Black Hills, which here
in the United States where the Mount Rushmore Monument is located,
was sacred Lakota site. And in night, the Supreme Court
of the United States said, you know what, this land
was stolen, uh, and it violated the Fort Laramie Treaty
of eighteen sixty eight. So why don't we settle this

(38:44):
with with money? Uh? And I'll offer some financial compensation
as a settlement. And the Lakota tribe said, no, we
don't want that. Uh. And they are still to this
day pushing for the return of the Black Hills land. Uh.
There's an Ojibwey writer named David Truer that said, you know,
how about we take the million acres of National park

(39:05):
land and we all own it with a with a
big federally organized and recognized group of tribes that are
still around. Um, give that back to us and you
can still come here, but we can hunt on it
and we can farm on it. And a little bit
of that is happening some parts of the National Park
or National forests. They have allowed some hunting for Indigenous

(39:29):
peoples and some farming which is going on. But he's like,
why don't you just give it all to us and
you can still come visit. But that would be a
nice start. You can still come visit for sure. Um.
They've also found that there's it's a really good way
of preserving forests as well. Like we we kind of
talked about it in the National Parks episode where the
National or the Forest services like, oh, we don't have

(39:52):
any idea what we're doing wrong here, Maybe we should
ask the Native American tribes he used to live here
who managed this land, to kind of give us some pointers.
And they found that that land back actually helps like
restore forests and ecosystems that that are proving to be
problematic because uh, we don't really quite know how to
how to make them work correctly or allow them to

(40:14):
work correctly. Yeah, they did it in Minnesota just a
couple of years ago. Um, they transferred almost twelve thousand
acres of Forest Service land to a federal trust for
the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwey. So it's happened here
and there. It's uh. Livy also points out that it's
happened with individuals. There are a few cases of just

(40:37):
landowners in the United States. It said here, you know,
have this two or three acres. I mean, it hasn't
been like thousands of acres yet at this point. But
the fact that individual uh citizens of the United States
are giving land back to indigenous peoples is a. I
think it's pretty cool. And so it's a it's a
good start. That's certainly putting your money where your mouth

(41:00):
is and not just reading a land acknowledgement, you know, yeah,
or like you said, paying actual rent. That's putting your
money where your mouth. That's you got anything else about
land acknowledgements. I got nothing else. I hope we did
a good job. You know, we mentioned doing this one
and we got a bunch of emails from people that
said really helpful emails that said, hey, just wait into
this carefully. I think they thought, um, and they don't

(41:22):
know us. Of course we're gonna do a good job,
but they thought that we might just be like, hey,
reading a thing is great and that kind of solves
all the problems. I'm not sure we would dust our
hands off as we walked away from the mis. No,
not at all. If you want to know more about
land acknowledgements, go to a Montreal Canadians game, a Microsoft retreat,
or just go onto the internet and start doing some

(41:44):
research yourself. It's pretty interesting stuff. And it's a like
Chuck said, a good place to start. And since I
said a good place to start, that means it's time
for a listener mail. That's right. And before I read
a listener mail and we were recommending TV shows and movies. Uh,
since this is appropriate, we gotta recommend the great TV

(42:05):
show from last year, Reservation Dogs. I think I mentioned
at once on the show, but it is fantastic and
it and it explores the lives of these teenagers in
rural Oklahoma. Indigenous teenagers and it is I think Takawa
tit as executive producer. But the show is written and
directed and crewed up mainly by indigenous people's and it

(42:27):
is a great show. It is very funny, very moving,
very heartwarming. I love it. I love it. Can't wait
for season two? Very nice? All right, listener mail, what
should I do here? How about the slow Pee Pub? Uh?
And what we have here is a listener that very
much accurately named the slow Pee Pub that I went
to a Manchester And while I'm doing that, I believe

(42:49):
someone found the one in Ireland for you. Correct, Yeah,
the Brazen Head by the Guinness Factory. It's amazing, that's right.
And do you know who sent that to you? Can
you find that while I read this? Yeah? All right,
so I'm gonna read this. Hey, guys, just finished listening
to the episode on pubs. It was great. I think
you mentioned the Sloping pub on a previous episode, and
being from Manchester, immediately knew what you were referring to.

(43:12):
I think the pub in question is the Marble Arch,
which is just on the outskirts of the city center.
It's a great place that's run by a small brewery
and wow, is that floor confusing? If you've had a few,
keep up the great work and been listening for five years.
Can't get enough, especially with subjects like these have local relevance. Uh,
and I looked it up. He sent a couple of pictures.
It was for sure the Marble Arch and it is

(43:34):
not in the city center where all the other kind
of hang out pubs and bars are. I was on
a walk and I stumbled upon it, and uh, if
you're ever in Manchester, go check it out because it's great.
And that is from Hugh Nice. And also we want
to say thank you very much to Susie from Dublin
or at the very least used to work in Dublin,

(43:54):
who correctly named the Brazen Head for me. So thanks
Susie and Hugh awesome. I knew they would come through. Yeah,
we'll come through, thanks to Susie and Hugh. If you
want to be like Susie and or Hugh, you can
get in touch with us via email to Stuff podcast
at iHeart radio dot com. Stuff you Should Know is

(44:18):
a production of I Heart Radio. For more podcasts my
Heart Radio, visit the iHeart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or
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