This guide is meant to serve as a starting point for those interested in learning more about Indigenous and Native resources at F&M, as well as information regarding Native peoples in South Central PA, Indigenous Ways of Knowing, and Relationality.
If you have any questions, recommendations, comments, or concerns, please contact us at email@example.com. Thank you!
F&M Land Acknowledgement
Short Statement from 2021 Convocation:
We gather today on the homeland of Native peoples whose history is integral to our past and present, but long denied. In addition to the Susquehannock who lived here in the 17th century, this land was home to the Lenape, Nanticoke, Piscataway, Seneca and Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Shawnee, and others throughout millennia. We acknowledge that Franklin & Marshall College's presence here is a direct legacy of settler colonialism. As a College community, we commit ourselves to the ongoing work of acknowledging and respecting those who came before us on these lands, and to act collectively in support of Native communities.
We acknowledge that Franklin & Marshall College exists on land with a long legacy of Native stewardship and cultural interactions. We show respect for the Indigenous peoples of this land by acknowledging their historical and continuing presence and by honoring their legacies. Historically, no sole sovereign controlled the land in the Susquehanna Valley that F&M currently occupies. For many millennia, different Native nations have lived on the land that today is called Lancaster. In the 17th century, the Susquehannock lived in villages here, keeping cultural ties to the Haudenosaunee. By the early 18th century, these lands were a crucible of cultural interaction, as many different Native peoples including but not limited to the Lenape, Sawanwa (Shawnee), Piscataway, Kuskarawaok (Nanticoke), and Onondowagah (Seneca), settled on this land. These Indigenous peoples were displaced as colonial settlers occupied the land and forced them out. The Lancaster Treaty of 1744 was signed here by leaders of the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations), who negotiated an alliance with English colonial officials but, in turn, had to relinquish significant land claims.
On this land, in the Susquehanna Valley, several multinational Native communities existed and thrived. However, a massacre against the Indigenous residents of Conestoga Indian Town by a racist vigilante group known as the Paxton Boys on December 14, 1763, threatened their continuity. The survivors of the massacre were held as prisoners and subsequently murdered at the Lancaster workhouse on December 27. Despite a rich history and the continuing presence of Native communities in our state, neither the federal government nor the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania officially recognizes any Native tribes within Pennsylvania.
We recognize that this land acknowledgment is but a small step in the face of our complicity amidst over two hundred years of settler colonialism and inaction. As a College community, we commit ourselves to continuously educating, raising awareness, and acknowledging the complex legacy of those who came before us on these lands. We welcome all in our community and beyond it to join us in acting collectively to support Native communities.
Research the Land You Occupy
We encourage you to do your own research using a tool like https://native-land.ca, which allows you to find out what Indigenous and Native peoples have occupied the land on which you live and work.