MSAC Land Acknowledgement Project Now Available as Public Resource

Click here to view the project’s materials.

Land Acknowledgement Statements
“Land acknowledgments” are statements that recognize Indigenous peoples dispossessed of their land and/or relationships with land by settler colonists. In the United States, land acknowledgement statements are an increasingly popular practice in arts and cultural heritage contexts. Researching and delivering these statements educates audiences and refutes the inaccurate yet widely-held idea that Native people no longer exist in the place now known as Maryland. 

Land acknowledgement statements are seen as an effective and ethical way to begin acknowledging Indigenous sovereignty, begin correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture, and begin inviting and honoring the truth.

The MSAC Project
In response to numerous requests from constituents, Maryland Traditions staff initiated the MSAC Land Acknowledgement Project in April 2020 in consultation with previous American Indian grantees and the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs. Staff researched best practices for delivering land acknowledgement statements and, most importantly, engaged in compensated consultations with tribal leaders and elders in Maryland-based American Indian Tribes to learn about tribal history and relationships with land. 

Tribal consultants for the project included: seven current or former chiefs, tribal chairs, or tribal speakers; six tribal historians or preservation officers; numerous tradition bearers; current and former commissioners from the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs; a retired employee of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian; and a former federal Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

Materials Now Available for Public Use
Public materials now available on the MSAC Land Acknowledgement Project webpage include a series of land acknowledgement statements and maps for the lands of each of the tribes who consulted on the project. 

Land Acknowledgement Project Overview and Resource Guide” document is also available. In addition to land acknowledgement statements and maps, the guide features explanations of best practices for creating and delivering land acknowledgements, tribal histories, and pronunciation guides. It also contains a “Key Concepts” section, which explains culturally-specific information to help constituents more easily create land acknowledgements. 

Tribal consultants have reviewed and approved tribal materials for cultural accuracy. 


If you have questions or are interested in learning more about these statements, please contact MSAC Folklife Specialist Ryan Koons at or 410.767.6568.

The Maryland State Arts Council is committed to making sure all Marylanders can access its programs and services. Guests with further accessibility questions or who require accommodations may fill out the Accommodations Request Form or contact the MSAC Office Secretary at