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Board adopts land acknowledgement

On Tuesday, January 4, 2022, the Board of Commissioners adopted a land acknowledgement recognizing Indigenous Peoples as the original stewards of the land now known as Washington County.
Media release

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Sponsored by: Board of County Commissioners Department

Washington County Board of Commissioners formally adopt land acknowledgement statement

In their ongoing commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, the Board of County Commissioners has voted to adopt a land acknowledgement statement which recognizes Indigenous Peoples as the original stewards of the land now known as Washington County.

To prepare the land acknowledgement statement, County staff worked closely with representatives of the Confederate Tribes of Grand Ronde whose ancestors include the Atfalati-Kalapuyans, the first inhabitants of Washington County. Additional participants representing other indigenous communities also residing in Washington County include those from the Nez Perce, Siletz and Yavapai nations.

A land acknowledgement is a formal statement, often spoken at the opening of public events, that recognizes the event is taking place on the land of Indigenous Peoples. The statement is intended to express respect for those who inhabited the land from “time immemorial,” their enduring relationship with their traditional territories and acknowledgement of the devastating effects of colonialism and broken treaties.

As stated by Board Chair Kathryn Harrington, “I’m grateful for this first step in addressing so many historic wrongs that have caused great harm to Indigenous Peoples. We must continue to build on the partnerships that led up to this moment to truly understand what it means to live on Kalapuyan land, eliminate present-day inequities shouldered by indigenous individuals and tribes, and build on the wisdom and contributions of indigenous partners and tribal nations.”

Washington County’s Office of Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement will develop an implementation plan for appropriate use of the land acknowledgement statement that considers recommendations from the Indigenous workgroup and provides training and guidance for staff.

Media Contact:

Julie McCloud, Public Affairs & Communications Coordinator
[email protected]