Whitman College is located on the traditional Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla homelands. We pay our respect to tribal elders both past and present and extend our respect to all indigenous people today. We honor their stewardship of the land and ecosystem and commit to continuing that important work.

Pronunciation:

Cayuse  – kai·oos

Umatilla – yoo·muh·ti·luh

Walla Walla  – waa·luh waa·luh

Uses for Land Acknowledgement:

The college will use the acknowledgement at the beginning of formal ceremonies such as commencement and convocation. Faculty, staff, students or guests to the college might choose to use the land acknowledgement as community members or guests orient themselves to our campus and location. Some examples: a speaking event on campus, the first day of class, at the opening of a full-day or multi-day event on Whitman’s campus, or at the beginning of a virtual event being presented from campus.

The acknowledgement is not a requirement. It is not meant to be formulaic, but rather meaningful and mindful. We recommend practicing reading it prior to delivery, reading it with intention, giving special care to proper pronunciation, and avoiding rushing through it.

Some may choose to use this in email signatures and in other written or digital communication where appropriate.

This statement was crafted with the guidance and support of both the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) and The Whitman College Indigenous Peoples Education and Culture Club (IPECC). The acknowledgment by itself is a small gesture. Whitman College strives to strengthen our relationship with the local indigenous communities through action, learning and mutual partnerships.