November 18, 2016
The American Indian Studies Department is the home of American Indian and Indigenous knowledge at the University of Washington and we acknowledge that we are on Indigenous land. We are a community of faculty, students, staff, and local partners engaged in the interdisciplinary study of Indigenous peoples with the collective goal of fostering Indigenous wellness, political sovereignty, cultural revitalization, and cross-cultural understanding.
Our research, teaching, and service emerges from and engages with the histories, psychological and social realities, expressive cultures, traditional land-based practices, and political status of Indigenous peoples in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
In light of recent events, we cannot continue our work without acknowledging what is occurring at Standing Rock, North Dakota. AIS faculty, staff and students stand in solidarity and declare our support of the Standing Rock Sioux and the Water Protectors engaging in a battle to block access of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) through their sacred lands and sites. They are fighting a fight for all of us. Water is Life!
Standing Rock is a reminder to all of us that Indigenous and Native lives matter and that we will continue our struggle for self-determination, working together to create an environment where our people and communities will thrive culturally, spiritually, socially and politically. We stand united with other members of the UW campus community, the Native Organization of Indigenous Scholars (NOIS), Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI), “wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ" Intellectual House, and the Living Breath of wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ Symposium Committee, who have issued statements in support of the Standing Rock Sioux.
Respectfully and in Solidarity,
Department of American Indian Studies