SEI 2021 Land Acknowledgement
The Summer Educational Institute for Digital Stewardship of Visual Information recognizes the colonial role of libraries and digital collections, and as digital stewardship professionals engaging with concepts of knowledge production, dissemination, and organization, we make this statement as an affirmation that we are committed to improving our profession’s practices.
It is important to acknowledge that across the many changes this land has experienced and despite the fact that colonial violence continues to negatively impact our Indigenous communities, the American Indian community sees the importance of the land as home to many diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
We recognize that we gather as part of a professional field with a colonial history and colonial present, and we aim to lessen the ongoing harms by responsibly speaking about the harmful impact of settler colonialism.
The professional activities associated with the digital stewardship of visual materials make it incumbent upon us to consider the legacies of colonization and white supremacy embedded within the technologies, structures, best practices, and ways of thinking we use in our work and throughout the entire digital life cycle. It is incumbent on us to acknowledge the digital landscape, along with the physical land on which we are located, individually and collectively.
Through SEI, we work to further our profession and our individual professional careers, in a new virtual format, using equipment and high-speed internet that is not available in many Indigenous communities. The technology and equipment we use to carry out the daily workflows and processes of our jobs is central to our daily lives, but leaves a significant footprint and contributes to changing climates that disproportionately affect Indigenous people.
Because we live all over the country, it is imperative to acknowledge the physical land on which we are all individually located. We invite you to take a moment to reflect on the Indigenous land upon which you sit—geographically and digitally—and express gratitude for your ability to live, work, and enjoy the land. We invite you to research Indigenous projects, artists, and activism in your local area and consider appropriate actions of support.
We invite anyone to discuss this statement so we can reciprocally learn and make efforts towards continued improvements.
The SEI Digital Land Acknowledgement is adapted with permission from Adrianne Wong of SpiderWebShow’s digital land acknowledgement for the Festival of Live Digital Art and prepared with reference to the ARLIS/NA 2020 Virtual Conference Land Acknowledgement and the VRA 2021 Land Acknowledgement. The framework is adapted from the Northern Alberta Health Library Association Land Acknowledgement, Template for Personalization, Definitions, and Speaker Protocol, 2019, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.