RPS Land Acknowledgment Statement & Artwork

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RPS Land Acknowledgment Statement & Artwork

Dear RPS Families,

In alignment with our equity policy and ongoing equity work, the Richfield School Board asked District leaders to develop a Land Acknowledgment in partnership with the American Indian Parent Advisory Committee (AIPAC). District staff researched the history of our area and helped draft a statement that was reviewed on multiple occasions by AIPAC members. The final draft was presented to the Richfield School Board and unanimously supported. 

A Land Acknowledgment is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. 

As part of Native American Heritage Month, we are officially launching the RPS Land Acknowledgment for staff to begin using at large-group events such as concerts, plays, assemblies, etc. We also unveiled artwork that will be displayed at each of our schools soon. The artwork is by local artist Marlena Myles (Spirit Lake Dakota/Mohegan/Muscogee). 

The RPS Land Acknowledgment:

Richfield Public Schools acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Dakota people, who have lived on and cared for the land since time immemorial. Indigenous nations have a long history of stewardship and preservation of the local area. We are grateful for the guardianship of these lands which hold historical, spiritual and personal significance to the Dakota people.

The Cessation 289 Treaty of 1851 names the Wahpeton and Sisseton Bands of the Dakota People. The United States government used this treaty to steal land from its Indigenous groups. The Richfield Public School District continues to benefit from this unjust treaty.

We honor the history, sacrifices and continued contributions of the Dakota People and all members of the Richfield community who belong to Indigenous groups. Richfield Public Schools acknowledges the reality and history of these lands and affirms our appreciation of and support for Indigenous peoples.

In RPS, we value the rich diversity of our community and our world. This Land Acknowledgment is part of our ongoing work to ensure all students and staff experience a safe and supportive school environment. We work to ensure our schools are fully inclusive for all students regardless of race, culture, socioeconomic status, language, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, migratory status or any other real or perceived demographic characteristic.