Read the latest Trailblazers publication ›

register for school safety youth dialogues here

Land Acknowledgment

At UP for Learning, we acknowledge that our office is on the homeland of the Abenaki peoples, and we recognize the generations of Indigenous people who have cared for and continue to care for this land. Further, we are aware that by gathering at our office in Montpelier, Vermont, alongside the Winooski River (1), we benefit from land stolen from the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi and the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki (2 ). Atrocious acts of ethnocide and genocide (3) were committed against Indigenous peoples. White supremacist (4) colonialism (5) caused harm and continues to cause harm. A history of assimilation (6) and erasure (7) backs the U.S. education system. UP for Learning is currently a majority-white organization. We seek to use our influence in education to “amplify voices that have to fight to be heard elsewhere” (8) for healing and community well-being. We believe that no youth should ever feel erased. Instead, every youth should be heard and celebrated for all parts of their identity. This land acknowledgment fuels our commitment to educational equity and strengthens our mission to reimagine and transform education–youth and adults–together.

This is a living, evolving document. We are actively learning and also invite conversation, feedback, and questions. Email us!

  1. “ Winooski comes from the Abenaki word, winoskitegw, which means Land of Onion, named after the onions that grow by it. The Winooski River Flood- plain is an incredible resource cultivated, cared for, and harvested, and much of it has been paved over to create a city. Winooski. ABENAKI, place of wild onion.” – Mills, Dan.Homeland n’Dakinna:Vert-Mont Place Names. http://abacus.bates.edu/~dmills/art/overpaintings-2018-/dan-mills-homeland- ndakinna.pdf.
  2. Nulhegan Abenaki Website: https://abenakitribe.org/, Indigenous Peoples Map: https://native-land.ca/
  3. “ The Indigenous Abenaki people of the Northeast have, for generations, been subjected to both genocidal attacks (killing of people) and ethnocidal attacks (killing of culture) by colonial settlers and their descendants. In the colonial era, these threats took the form of murderous attacks on families and villages in war-time. In the modern era, these threats have included eugenic sterilization.” https://abenakitribe.org/ethnocide#bd61a9b6-062f- 4c5a-bd71-a5cb22bc7808
  4. “ The belief that white people are superior to those who are Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other Folx of the Global Majority because they are white.” Jewell, Tiffany, et al. This Book Is Antiracist. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2020.
  5. A colonizer is “a person who uses their power to dominate another group of people they deem inferior. Through colonization, which is when a group takes control over another, the colonizer uses violence and manipulation to gain and maintain power and control over land and resources.” Ibid.
  6. Assimilation is “to take on the customs, mannerisms, and ideas of a dominant group in order to fit in.” – Jewell, Tiffany, et al. This Book Is Antiracist. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2020.
  7. “While many aspects of our history are indeed horrendous, ugly and difficult to absorb, to erase them is to delete the experience of marginalized com- munities, in effect silencing them. Discriminatory practices … laid the foundation for the present-day circumstances” – Khan, Nida. “Editorial: Indig- enous Erasure and the Fight for Recognition.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 31 May 2022,
  8. “Untitled Poem by Beth Strano.” Facing History and Ourselves

Works Cited

Jewell, Tiffany, et al. This Book Is Antiracist. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2020.

Khan, Nida. “Editorial: Indigenous Erasure and the Fight for Recognition.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 31 May 2022, https://www.pbs.org/wnet/exploring-hate/2022/04/19/editorial-indigenous-erasure-and-the-fight-for recognition/.

Middlebury College. “Middlebury Land Acknowledgment.” Middlebury Offices and Services, 29 Nov. 2022, https://www.middlebury.edu/office/about/ middlebury-land acknowledgment#midd-accordion-item-label-46464.

Mills, Dan. Homeland n’Dakinna:Vert-Mont Place Names. http://abacus.bates. edu/~dmills/art/overpaintings-2018-/dan-mills-homeland-ndakinna.pdf.

“Untitled Poem by Beth Strano.” Facing History and Ourselves, https://www. facinghistory.org/resource-library/untitled-poem beth-strano.