By the South Salem High School Native Club
Through this land acknowledgement we honor and respect those who came before us and lived through the horror and trauma of white settler colonialism and occupation. We recognize the need for restorative justice as we pursue sovereignty, repatriation, reparations, and restitution in the spirit of reconciliation, not retribution.
Let us move toward a future where the past is not erased or whitewashed. We remember that Oregon itself was built on genocide, broken treaties, stolen land, and cultural cleansing with children torn from their homes and forced into boarding schools. South Salem High School's history reflects the racist history of Salem and Oregon, and we struggle to this day to overcome that legacy.
This land on which we live, work, and learn is the ancestral homeland of the Kalapuya tribe. These indigenous people lived in harmony with the earth and its abundance.Their spiritual connection to the sacred land, water, and animals that once inhabited Turtle Island, (now known as America), serve as inspiration for us all. We as a people must strive to make mother earth inhabitable for seven generations and more to come.
Colonization still impacts us all today through white supremacy, economic exploitation, and environmental degradation. Acknowledging these realities is one small step towards truth, reconciliation and healing. May we carry these truths in our hearts as we are inspired to action.