It is important to recognize the indigenous people that inhabited this land before colonization and those that continue to inhabit this land that all of us live on. A land acknowledgment is just a part of disrupting and dismantling colonial structure. We encourage people to learn the history of native people in the United States; to recognize the impact of colonization on their lives as well as ours in the past as well as in the present; and to support indigenous communities and organizations.
A.R.E.A. Land Acknowledgment
Alamance County is rooted in deep indigenous history, including a trading path that runs through the county. Graham sits on traditional Sissipahaw/Occaneechi/Saponi/Eno/Saura lands. Alamance County has hundreds of current enrolled citizens and descendants of the OCCANEECHI who are alive and thriving today.
A long time ago, the hilly land that is now called the Piedmont of North Carolina was the home of indigenous relatives, the Yésah, a people who had lived in peace and balance with their world for centuries. North Carolina had always been home to a large variety of Indian tribes, with the Secotan and the Chowan in the east, the Saponi, Tutelo, Occaneechi, Sissipahaw and Tuscarora in the center, the Cherokee dominating the west, and dozens of other ones spread out along the state. As such, the Indians had a great influence throughout all of North Carolina’s history.
We would like to honor the 4 Directions, the Land, our People, the Rivers, Grandmother Earth and Creator of it all. As we move forward, please recognize and acknowledge the 8 state-recognized tribes and peoples: Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, Meherrin, Waccamaw Siouan, Lumbee, Coharie, Haliwa-Saponi, Sappony and Cherokee as the past, the present and future caretakers of this land.
We are grateful to Crystal Cavalier-Keck, citizen of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation in Burlington NC, for providing us with this land acknowledgment.