Native American Heritage Month
At our November Board meeting on November 18th, Lori Fast, Board Chair shared Governor Inslee's Native American Heritage Month Proclamation and Land Acknowledgement.
The Land Acknowledgement was collaboratively crafted by Centralia School District and William Thoms, Cultural Resource Specialist, for the Historic Preservation Office of the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation.
Acknowledgement is critical in building the necessary trust to coexist in harmony with one another. Indigenous tribes and bands have been apparent on the lands that we inhabit today in Centralia and throughout Washington and the Pacific Northwest for the time immemorial. Here in Centralia, the ancestry of the Chehalis River Peoples reaches the furthest back in time, reminding us that this bountiful and plentiful community has been called home by its original inhabitants.
It is important to understand the significance of this as the people of this land still exist, and inhabit this land not simply as heirs to it, or archeological artifacts, but as mutual contributors to the modern society we live in. We stand today on the ancestral homelands of the Chehalis people, whose lands were taken by declaration and occupation, but whose cultural claim as caretakers of these lands and waters edures, as it has for countless generations.
We would like to forward our respect to the First Peoples of this land, the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, and those whose identities have been compromised as belonging to this land and who do not fall under State or Federal jurisdiction. We reflect on the displacement, forced removal, and genocides that still took place throughout Washington and beyond, to ensure we truly honor the gravity of our past; giving a guarantee that people may live in harmony and equity on this land for posterity.
We would like this acknowledgement to carry resonance as a tool of peace and mutual respect to all that reside here, who come from afar to contribute to the energy and vibrancy of the place we call home, Centralia.
Please join us in uncovering such truths at any and all public events.