Beyond Land Acknowledgement: Moving from Optical Allyship to Action

Beyond Land Acknowledgement: Moving from Optical Allyship to Action

Session Type(s): Training

Training Tag(s): Grassroots Organizing/Campaigns

Starts: Saturday, Jul. 15 2:30 PM (Central)

Ends: Saturday, Jul. 15 3:30 PM (Central)

Room: PDR #2

After hearing a land acknowledgment statement, do you ever find yourself asking, “Now what?” Land acknowledgment is growing in popularity, yet it often functions as optical allyship. Since releasing a guide to land acknowledgment in 2019, Native Governance Center (NGC) has received hundreds of inquiries from people wanting help. Most of these inquiries have focused on verbiage, rather than action steps for supporting Indigenous communities. In response, NGC created a new action-planning approach. In this session, you’ll learn why land acknowledgment can be problematic. You’ll engage in small and large group activities to learn how to design meaningful action steps. Finally, you’ll have a chance to begin creating your own action plan.


Wayne Ducheneaux


Wayne is a former elected Tribal leader who’s committed to strengthening Tribal sovereignty and Indigenous leadership. He enjoys guiding Native Governance Center’s work, building relationships across sectors, and envisioning transformative futures for Native nations. Wayne values integrity, humility, and good conversations. He brings a deep and real-life understanding of Native nations’ needs, opportunities, and challenges to his work, thanks to his previous experience serving in a variety of roles for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Native people know best what they need to thrive, and Wayne dedicates every day to helping Native nations acquire skills, training, and resources to support their citizens. Wayne lives by words of wisdom from community organizer Malcolm Chapman: “No one of us is smarter than all of us.”

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Jessica Glidden


Jessica is passionate about positive Indigenous identity and representation – Native American people are still here and thriving. She employs her core values of dbaadendiziwin, aakwa’ode’ewin, and nbwaakaawin (humility, bravery, and wisdom) in her work to ensure Indigenous ways of knowing are passed on for the next 7 generations. Jessica brings to NGC her experience in business management, marketing, and education, with a desire for advocacy and policy work within the Native American community. She believes strongly in the power of education, reclaiming traditional ways, and protecting Indigenous lands and sovereignty.

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