From ASU Library:
“The ASU Library acknowledges the 22 Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries.”
Thus begins the Arizona State University Library’s first Indigenous land acknowledgement – a five-sentence, 116-word statement about the place that the library and the university have inhabited for more than a century.
“The statement represents the ASU Library’s intentions to begin a healing process,” said Lorrie McAllister, associate university librarian for collections and strategy. “We need to acknowledge that ASU is an occupant on Indigenous lands and that we need to take active steps to forge relationships of reciprocity.”
Alex Soto (Tohono O’odham) and Brave Heart Sanchez (Ndeh and Yaqui), both graduate students in the University of Arizona’s Knowledge River Program, add that the statement also represents a crucial first step toward welcoming Indigenous peoples into the library, recognizing their knowledge systems and their relationships to their land, while opening the door to further opportunities for engagement.
“Land acknowledgement is only the first step,” said Soto, who, together with McAllister and Sanchez, currently leads the ASU Library’s Labriola National American Indian Data Center, which encompasses dedicated Native community space within the library and a notable collection of rare books and manuscripts, as well as open stack circulating materials that are by, for and about Native Americans — a library within a library.
Last year, the ASU Library announced its endorsement and adoption of the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials, one in a series of moves to advocate for Native American communities through library policy, including the expansion of the Labriola Center, which now has two locations: Fletcher Library on the West campus and Hayden Library on the Tempe campus.