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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, September 25, 2023

Op-Ed: Acknowledging our settler-colonial present

Tufts University’s Medford campus is located on Wôpanâak (Wampanoag) and Massachusett traditional territor Tufts’ Walnut Hill was once one of the hills in a slave-holding estate Ten Hills Plantation. Both Africans and Native Americans were enslaved in the colony of Massachusetts, and trade in Native American and African laborers made Massachusetts a driving force in the Atlantic slave trade. A student-led movement culminated in the establishment of Indigenous People’s Day at Tufts in February 2016, and last year, students and faculty worked together to establish a minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS). This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Africana Center at Tufts — also the fruit of student protest. interdisciplinary scholars Land acknowledgements, Indigenous Peoples’ Day and the NAIS minor are each results of an ongoing process recognizing Indigenous land, history and knowledge — the form, content and grammar of a people.

— Darren E. Lone Fight, Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora

Walnut trees occur only very rarely in New England forests as is also true on Long Island Massachusett Mystick deliberately planted the walnut trees

Ninian R. Stein, Environmental Studies & Department of Anthropology

They should direct us to learn about contemporary efforts for Wôpanâak languageresurrection and Mashpee Wampanoag struggles to hold land collectively. research and teaching on Palestine

Amahl Bishara, Department of Anthropology, Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora

ongoing structure we are collectively silent on issues of land acknowledgement 72% of Native Americans

Julian Agyeman, Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning

As a family historian, I have written about my black and Creek (Mvskoke) ancestors, and the importance of familial and communal knowledge. Black and Native New England our students travel to sites and explore the lesser-known enslavement of Native Americans alongside African Americans In modern landscapes everywhere people persist in asking, ‘What happened here?’ The answers they supply … should not be taken lightly, for what people make of their places is closely connected to what they make of themselves…

Kendra Taira Field, Department of History, Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora

Anishinaabe scholar Leanne Betasamosake Simpson “land is pedagogy.” The new NAIS minor and the departmentalization of the study of Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora

Lily Mengesha, Department of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies, Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora

On this very land, settlers fought wars of colonization against the Indigenous, including the 1677 war that claimed more lives as a portion of population than any other direct conflict on American soil, as Native author Paul Chaat Smith writes. "survivance,” to use Gerald Vizenor’s word

Kris Manjapra, Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora, and Department of History