Signature Theatre Land Acknowledgement
The Signature Theatre is situated on unceded traditional lands of the Munsee Lenape, the Canarsee, the Wequaesgeek and the Siwanoy. Our territory currently known as New York City originates from the indigenous population that once inhabited the area of Manahatta and it's collective five boroughs within Turtle Island.
To the region of Lower Manahatta we are indebted to the Canarsee whose Chief Seyseys, met with the Dutch. To the region of Upper Manahatta we give reverence to the Wequaesgeek, whose territory encompassed the Bronx and whose Chief Meijeterma, met with Jonas Bronck.
Let this our Land Acknowledgment be the beginning of our return to unity, not just of each other but to the awareness that we are truly a part of the earth. Let us now walk with the knowledge that each and every one of us is a guardian of most importance, as we were put upon this Turtle Island not to seek dominion but as Care takers, as Two leggeds, to protect and to grow each other, to love and offer kindness. We are here to ensure that the gifts of earth, water and air remain pure and whole, and so let us be guardians of the earth. the water, and the air, the 4 legged, fliers, the swimmers, the crawlers, the mammal people and the green. In this way we honor the land which gives us life, we honor the lives & culture forsaken, and we honor the prospect of renewed alliances.
Moreover, let this moment of recognition be a monument of action. Action that is fortified with a cooperative spirit and reverance for our traditional ways. Let it be the beginning of hope for this our Turtle Island in the land of the Munsee.
Let us now stand lifting our humanity, enrapturing with the earths conscious as guardians of harmony and kindness, as we pay respect to all of our ancestors and to future generations.
We are the Lenapehoking today, and will be for the remaining days of tomorrows …*Keepers of the Pass.
*This acknowledgement demonstrates our ongoing commitment as a community working to dismantle the continued legacies of colonialism, oppression and systematic racism. We offer a pledge of Social Justice awakening, and education in order to raise the level of awareness, and to ultimately strengthen the communal fabric which includes outreach with our Indigenous neighbors. In this way, our collective voices can disrupt the patterns of social injustice through reverence of the Native People who share their land and by revitalizing Indigenous history through Indigenous specific programming.
Signed x Chief Dewaine Perry *Ramapough-Lunaape; Munsee
Co-Signed x Oleana Whispering Dove; Author & Museum Docent *Eastern Tsalagi/Algonquian descendant
Header photo by Lia Chang