City Council action paves the way for City staff to partner with local indigenous leaders to develop a statement recognizing the history and presence of indigenous peoples
The City Council of the City of West Hollywood, at its regular meeting on Monday, September 21, 2020, approved an item recommending that City staff work with local Indigenous leaders to develop a land acknowledgement policy to recognize the history and presence of Indigenous peoples and their enduring relationship to their traditional homelands.
“Land acknowledgements help create awareness of the cultural erasure of Indigenous peoples and the processes of colonization and subjugation that have contributed to that erasure,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath. “In countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and among tribal nations in the United States, it is commonplace, even policy, to open events and gatherings by acknowledging the traditional Indigenous inhabitants of that land. This is often done at the beginning of ceremonies, lectures, or any public event. Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing recognition and respect, creating a broader public awareness of the history, and taking a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth.”
“Though a land acknowledgement is only one way to recognize the history of this land, it is a meaningful step in beginning to change the way the land is viewed and discussed,” said Councilmember John D’Amico. “It is a way to honor the original occupants of this place and is intended to serve as a symbol of reconciliation. City staff will work with local Indigenous leaders to ensure the language the City uses is historically accurate and culturally appropriate.”
Once the land acknowledgement policy is developed at a future point in time, a set of protocols will be developed about the sharing of language in the policy, such as being posted on the City’s website and shared in City events and meetings.
For more information about the development of a Land Acknowledgement Policy, please contact City of West Hollywood Community & Legislative Affairs Supervisor Andi Lovano at (323) 848-6333 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of West Hollywood remains in a declared local emergency in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. While Los Angeles County is allowing for a phased reopening of some businesses and activities, coronavirus transmission and COVID-19 disease remain a serious risk. West Hollywood City Hall is currently closed to in-person transactions, but City Hall services remain accessible by phone at (323) 848-6400 and via the City’s website at www.weho.org. City of West Hollywood coronavirus information is available at www.weho.org/coronavirus.
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