Historical Trauma: Land Acknowledgement & Commitment to Restoration
I share the following personal ancestral truths to acknowledge the resulting historical trauma and its long-term effects.
Ancestry.com has proven what I've always dreaded about my genealogy... my ancestors officially colonized Massachusetts, the rightful Lands of the Nipmuck and Agwam peoples. Historians agree that, later on, other ancestors were likely compelled to fight and die in the American Revolution simply to retain their economic benefits from slavery. Even later still, their descendants enlisted in the losing side of the Civil War. (Ugh.)
Undeniably, my ancestors constructed today's oppressive systems of white supremacy.
In my childhood backyards, I found countless arrowheads. I now know that these archeological artifacts likely belonged to the Mvskoke (Muscogee), and Kiikapoi (Kickapoo) and Nisenan peoples—modern day Atlanta, DFW, and Northern California. After college, I lived on the stolen Lands of the Duwamish, Coast Salish, and Puyallup peoples in the Pacific Northwest.
Tragically, these historical traumas still continue today.
I currently live in Nashville, Tennessee which occupies Lands of the ᏣᎳᎫᏪᏘᏱ Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee), and Shawandasse Tula (Shawnee) peoples. Thousands of Cherokee and Shawnee were forcefully removed from their homes and paraded through downtown Nashville in 1838. We call this their trail of tears.
Today, Nashville is home to a zipcode with the highest incarceration rate in the country. This is just one fact pointing toward the rampant disparities throughout Native and Black populations across America.
Capitalism is not restorative.
Much of what is touted as "best business practices" continues to erase people and the earth. Capitalism will never reconcile these horrors nor will it return native communities to their homelands.
I am committed to dismantling the oppression my ancestors built, in these ways:
- reclaiming liberation from trauma for my clients—My consulting practice is a literal practice, mostly because I am not perfect. ;-) Also because practice is not for perfection; practice is for making things feel easier. In this way, my clients and I practice reclaiming liberation—so that liberation from all trauma feels easier, for as many people as possible.
- promoting and building systems of regenerative commerce—I am committed to guide my clients toward economic models of stewardship, cultivation, and protection of resources—not erasure or replicating past traumas.
- returning everything that was stolen, figuratively and literally—These acknowledgements and commitments to my work are a humble, micro-step toward returning native communities to their homelands and restoring their cultural identity.
This work puts a fire in my belly because:
- I can hear the sounds of my clients' growing liberation.
- I am honored to witness post-traumatic reclamation and I want to see more of it.
- Most importantly, I am in awe of and support the resilience and strength that all Indigenous people have shown worldwide.
If you're unfamiliar with the Indigenous peoples who belong to the stolen lands on which you live, I encourage you to look up your location on native-land.ca, watch this video about the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota, or make a donation to Landback.