As we all journey on the trail of life, we wish to acknowledge the spiritual and physical connection the Pennacook, Abenaki, and Wabanaki Peoples have maintained to N’dakinna (homeland) and the aki (land), nebi (water), olakwika (flora), and awaasak (fauna) which the University of New Hampshire community is honored to steward today. We also acknowledge the hardships they continue to endure after the loss of unceded homelands and champion the university’s responsibility to foster relationships and opportunities that strengthen the well-being of the Indigenous People who carry forward the traditions of their ancestors.
Developed by a committee and approved by Tribal Elders, the committee built this acknowledgement with six guiding principles/critical elements:
- Include land, water, biota
- Capture Abenaki/Penacook historic stewardship status
- Recognize current challenges faced by local Indigenous peoples
- Recognize relationship of UNH with Indigenous people and place
- Include an Abenaki term to describe the local Durham place
- Include the spiritual connection to the land
We want to recognize faculty in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture for their service and contributions. We appreciate their dedication and commitment to creating a meaningful and impactful UNH Land, Water, and Life Acknowledgement – an Acknowledgement that has been well-received by the UNH community and the state of New Hampshire. We recognize committee membership on the NH Commission on Native American Affairs and on the COLSA DivInE committte. We honor the Indigenous heritage represented by committee members from the Wendat, Algonquin and Mi’kmaq peoples and we honor the Indigenous representation of committee membership in the Cowasuck Band of Pennacook Abenaki and of the Mohegan, Shawnee and Cherokee peoples.
We also want to recognize the work of faculty in the Department of Anthropology, and the College of Liberal Arts who laid the groundwork for the Acknowledgement by building and helping to sustain relationships between UNH and tribal leaders.