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November is Native American Heritage Month. Let us honor the people who first inhabited the lands we now call home. This is the Land Acknowledgement shared by Bishop Sean Rowe at the opening of the 2023 Diocesan Partnership/Northwestern Pennsylvania and Western New York Joint Diocesan Convention in October.
We acknowledge the traditional and
ancestral land of the Erie, Wenrohronon, and Haudenosaunee people, and
recognize the sovereignty of the Six Nations–the Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga,
Oneida, Seneca and Tuscarora people. Today we are worshiping, praying, and
working on those lands, and we honor the people who have lived and worked here
from time immemorial, the Keepers of the Western Door. We are grateful for
their care and sharing of this land.
We recognize colonialism and the oppression of Native peoples and commit to building our awareness of our participation in it. In particular, we grieve the violence and injustice committed against Native children in the name of Christianity at the Thomas Indian School on the Cattaraugus Seneca Reservation, and we recognize that those abuses continue to inflict pain on the Indigenous people of our communities to this day.