Land Acknowledgment

overhead shot of Wellesley's campus with fall foliage

Wellesley College Land Acknowledgment

We recognize the many Indigenous peoples who have rich histories on this land, and we acknowledge the many Indigenous people who live, work, and study at Wellesley and in Massachusetts. Our land acknowledgment recognizes the long history of racism and oppression in the United States and strives to uplift the contemporary lives of Indigenous peoples. 

Land acknowledgments are most often offered in a welcome to the audience, in opening remarks, or in an event program. We will read this acknowledgment at convocation and commencement ceremonies. In addition, faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to incorporate this land acknowledgment into their meetings or gatherings, and other events across campus.

The following land acknowledgment was approved by the Wellesley College Board of Trustees in October 2021:

We acknowledge that Wellesley College is built on ancestral and traditional land of the Massachusett people. We also recognize that the United States’ removal, termination, and assimilation policies and practices resulted in the forced settlement of Indigenous lands and the attempted erasure of Indigenous cultures and languages. We further acknowledge the oppression, injustices, and discrimination that Indigenous people have endured and that there is much work to be done on the important journey to reconciliation. We commit to strengthen our understanding of the history and contemporary lives of Indigenous peoples and to steward this land. 

We further recognize the many Indigenous people living here today—including the Massachusett, Wampanoag, and Nipmuc nations—who have rich ancestral histories in Wellesley and its surrounding communities. Today, their descendants remind us that they are still here, where they maintain a vital and visible presence. We honor and respect the enduring relationship between these peoples and this land, as well as the strength of Indigenous culture and knowledge, the continued existence of tribal sovereignty, and the principle of tribal self-determination.