A Necessary Land Acknowledgement

This brief land acknowledgment was provided to us by the Eckerd Diversity Action Council. In the future, this group will be releasing an official statement to be included on Eckerd's webpage. The work below is a draft of this effort.

Eckerd College celebrates the beautiful campus that it calls home and teaches the importance of environmental stewardship as a core value. An important part of this commitment is acknowledging the Indigenous communities, past and present, who are the traditional custodians of this land.

Eckerd College acknowledges that its campus lies within the traditional homelands of the Seminole people, as well as that of the Tocobaga and other historical groups whose history on this land extends back more than 12,000 years. We recognize the profound resilience of Seminole, Miccosukee, Muscogee, Choctaw, and people of other Native groups who, despite centuries of colonial oppression, continue to call Florida home. As a campus community, we commit to learning and teaching Native American history and culture, recognizing and honoring the presence of Indigenous people, and caring for the land that has become our home to the best of our ability.

A Clarification

You might be wondering, isn't Eckerd built on fill land? And the answer is largely, yes.

This does not mean, however, that the water space where our school is was not an important resource for indigenous communities. It is important to understand that this space was used as fishing and trapping grounds for communities that came before us. People have also lived on this land as far back as 14,000 years ago, which means there were people using and inhabiting this land during times when the coastline extended much farther out into the bay and this area was naturally dry land.

When thinking about land use we should also challenge what our own definitions of "property" are. Just because it could not be used for profit directly, does not mean this space was not valued. Many of our definitions of property are informed by our economic system, capitalism. When considering this topic we ask that you might reflect on and challenge the narrative you've likely been told in regard to land ownership. Reflect upon this damaging narrative in the context of BIPOC individuals and communities.

While land acknowledgment is a very important step in telling the history of Indigenous peoples, so is supporting Indigenous individuals. One of the best ways to do this is to...


Boys and Girls Club: Seminole Tribe of Florida

Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum

For more Florida specific resources go to the bottom of our Eckerd page and the Next Steps pageAnd keep in mind that that this isn't a full picture of the indigenous history of this land

An Important Resource to Acknowledge Whose Land You're On:

This webpage that allows you to explore whose native land you are on and the history behind it throughout the U.S as well as other parts of the world