Land Acknowledgment

A picture of a large rock monument with circular plaque in a bed of greenery.

A key statement on the monument notes: “This ancient land, for all our relations,” also stated in Wichita: “ti?i hira:r?a hira:wis hakitata:rira:rkwe?ekih.” This phrase reflects that all living beings inhabiting this land—humans, animals, birds, insects, fish, plants, rocks, rivers, and all else—are connected and related. The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, as well as other Native Americans, have been living in the region now known as north Texas for hundreds of years, and their ancestors for much longer than that. Through their ancient connection to this land, these peoples developed ways of living here in a positive, beneficial, and respectful manner. This acknowledgment honors their success in living with this ancient land and puts our knowledge—the knowledge produced and learned at TCU— in the context of this ancient land.

TCU is founded on the traditional and unceded territories of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes.1We would like to thank Scott Langston (TCU Department of Religion) and Renee Gokey (Enrolled Eastern Shawnee of Oklahoma; Sac-n-Fox and Myaamia) for providing feedback on an early draft of this Land Acknowledgment.2 Native tribes who have inhabited the land on which Texas Christian University is built include but are not limited to: the Kickapoo (Kiikaapoi), Jumanos, Tawakoni, Wichita, Keechi, Waco, Kiowa, Caddo, and Comanche tribes. “Native Governance Center,” “Native Land” Native peoples from these and other tribes have lived in these lands and across Texas since time immemorial and in the present day. This website is affiliated with the Texas Christian University Library and the Department of English. It is important that we recognize the Native American and Indigenous peoples and tribes on whose land Texas Christian University is located.

Although this section is titled “land acknowledgment,” we members of this website’s team note that acknowledgment is only a small step.  Any form of acknowledgment is not in itself going to change America’s history as it relates to the oppression against Native and Indigenous peoples. However, this land acknowledgment honors and invites the truth of the Indigenous history of this area and resists the erasure of colonialism as an ongoing process.

TCU is making additional efforts to address its participation in the systemic violence against and attempted erasure of, Native and Indigenous peoples on these lands. The picture on the right is of a monument on TCU’s campus which acknowledges the Native American and Indigenous peoples/tribes whose land we are on.3TCU Native and Indigenous Students Association, 14 October 2018. TCU, the Native and Indigenous Students Association is “dedicated to creating a community for Native and Indigenous students and allies.” This association hopes that it is a place where “Native and Indigenous issues are discussed, culture and traditions are shared, and allies are educated and informed.”4Native and Indigenous Student Association. We are working to make this website a space to practice allyship with the TCU Native and Indigenous Students Association.

Teacher-scholars working in transatlantic studies have a clear responsibility, as a field, to combat the legacies of colonialism. The processes of colonization, genocide, and enslavement are inherently transatlantic. We recognize the deep implication of transatlanticism in both the historical and contemporary effects of colonial violence and knowledge production. It is our hope that Teaching Transatlanticism troubles, rather than reinforces, the ways in which scholarly disciplines perpetuate colonialist practices.5Zuroski, Eugenia, ‘The Ship We’re In’, The Rambling, August 7, 2020. We strongly encourage readers of Teaching Transatlanticism to use resources like to help them learn more about the Indigenous tribes/peoples who live(d) on the land(s) they are reading about since these peoples often tend not to be mentioned directly, if at all.

We acknowledge that our work is situated on colonized Indigenous land whose resources have been extracted through enslaved and indentured labor. This is rooted in Western understandings of land as inert, only containing resources available for commodification. This understanding oppresses the land itself by denying other forms of relationship between the land, other living beings, and humans. The inequalities of these oppressive systems persist to this day in the erasure of the labor, often that of people of color, which is integral to the maintenance, development, and support of digital projects such as this one.6Fyfe, Paul, ‘An Archaeology of Victorian Newspapers’, Victorian Periodicals Review 49.4 (2016), 546-577.

Although digital projects can create the impression that they are somehow detached from environmental impact, we are aware that the infrastructure necessary for hosting a website has direct, material, and often detrimental effects on the Earth. We wish to offer our thanks to the lands where some of this infrastructure is located, including the TCU data center located in Fort Worth, Texas, the ancestral lands of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes; the WordPress headquarters in San Francisco, California, on the traditional and unceded lands of the Ramaytushg, Ohlone, and Muwekma tribes, and the WordPress data centers located around the globe.


What to Consider When Acknowledging You Are On Stolen Indigenous Lands.” Healing Minnesota Stories.

Land Acknowledgements.” Trans Philosophy Project.

A Guide to Indigenous Land Acknowledgment.”

Positionality Statement and Land Acknowledgement Workshop.” Simon Fraser University.

Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Land Acknowledgments” hosted by Unsettling Dramaturgy: Crip & Indigenous Dramaturgies. Howlround Theatre Commons.

SEI 2021 Land Acknowledgement.” Summer Educational Institute for Digital Stewardship of Visual Information.

Written by Nataly Dickson (TCU) and Sofia Prado Huggins (TCU).