“Momma nodded and Martin smiled and then they continued to look at the natural world around them with new eyes that were a little wider, a little more grateful, and with a sense that there was more to saying this land verse — something deeper and bigger and more important, that over time … they would understand.” —from "A Land Verse" in Martin & Sylvia: Learning Days
In “A Land Verse,” Martin and Sylvia get curious about the people who owned their house previously. What about people who lived here before them? And before them? Their questions lead them on a trip to the library where they learn a special way to honor the Native American people who have and do reside on this land.
We’ve pulled together some resources to help our Sparklers take part in their own land acknowledgements and some ways to offer ongoing support to Indigenous communities.
Take Part in Your Own Land Acknowledgement
If your family is inspired to participate in their own land acknowledgement ceremony or practice, you can use this helpful online tool called Native Land. You can enter your address and see the Indigenous nation and language associated with your area. You can even find an educational guide for using this tool, provided by Native Land Digital.
Native Land Digital is a registered Canadian not-for-profit organization with a majority-Indigenous Board of Directors, representing people who have close ties to land bases, communities, and deep knowledge about Indigenous ways of being and knowing. You can read more about them, their projects, and how to use their tools here.
Beyond Land Acknowledgement
Acknowledging and learning about Indigenous communities past, present, and future is important work, and land acknowledgements can be a part of that work. We also want to provide some action steps that families can take to move beyond verbal or written acknowledgements and onward toward further establishing equity.
Donate Money to a Local Indigenous Organization
Can you set aside money each month to offer financial support to an Indigenous Organization? If you don’t already donate to a local or national Indigenous Organization, Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a great time to start. You can begin by expanding on your initial Land Acknowledgement exercise and learning a bit more about the Native American Nations closest to where you live. Find out what groups and organizations currently exist and how you can support them with financial contributions. Check out the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Firstnations.org, and this list of resources to get started.
Donate Time to a Local Indigenous Organization or Cause
What is your community already doing to support Indigenous People and how can you participate? Take time to learn about the people impacted, what your role can be, and how you can best be of service.
Participate in an Honor Tax or Voluntary Land Tax Program
Honor tax programs exist to recognize Native American Nations and the rights of Indigenous Peoples through direct support. These programs are usually annual amounts paid directly to local Indigenous communities in amounts chosen by the individuals. Find out if an Honor Tax or Voluntary Land Tax Program exists in your community! You can read more about these programs (and even how to start your own!) here.
About the Author
Jessica is a content creator, writer, strategist, and vintage pyrex collector. She has a passion for facilitating authentic connection, whether that's through her work at Sparkle Stories or her songwriting.