UNH Land, Water, and Life Acknowledgement

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.

Listen to the Acknowledgement read by Denise Pouliot

Developed by a committee and approved by Tribal Elders, the committee built this acknowledgement with six guiding principles/critical elements:

  1. Include land, water, biota
  2. Capture Abenaki/Penacook historic stewardship status
  3. Recognize current challenges faced by local Indigenous peoples
  4. Recognize relationship of UNH with Indigenous people and place
  5. Include an Abenaki term to describe the local Durham place
  6. Include the spiritual connection to the land

Committee Members: 

  • Kathleen Blake - Chairperson, NH Commission on Native American Affairs; UNH COLSA Alum (NREN) and retired science teacher; Indigenous heritage  (Wendat, Algonquin and Mi’kmaq peoples)
  • Denise Pouliot - member, NH Commission on Native American Affairs, UNH INHCC member, affiliate faculty for UNH Indigenous Studies minor; Indigenous member (head female speaker of the Cowasuck Band of Pennacook Abenaki)
  • Garret Chapman - UNH Associate Athletic Director; member, NH Commission on Native American Affairs; Indigenous member (Mohegan)
  • Adam Wymore - member of COLSA DivInE committee with interest in Indigenous issue and science
  • Dan Howard - member, NH Commission on Native American Affairs; COLSA faculty member of COLSA DivInE committee; Indigenous member (Shawnee/Cherokee)

We also want to recognize the work of Svetlana Peshkova and other faculty in the Department of Anthropology who laid the groundwork for the Acknowledgement by building and helping to sustain relationships between UNH and tribal leaders.