Wedgwood Presbyterian Church stands on the lands of the Coast Salish Peoples, whose ancestors resided here since time immemorial. This region also served as a great gathering and trading place for a wide range of Native Nations. It is our duty, as representatives of the Wedgwood community to honor and respect with gratitude their traditions and ceremonial cycles, from the salmon that continue to feed their families, to the songs and dances that ensure reciprocity in their everyday lives. The Burke Museum at the University of Washington provides the following facts about the Coast Salish Peoples (Coast Salish People & Languages | Burke Museum):

  • The term “Coast Salish” refers to a language family, including two dozen distinct languages and many dialects, and is used to indicate the cultural group of indigenous peoples who speak or spoke these languages.
  • The Coast Salish-speaking peoples have lived in what is present-day western Washington and southwestern British Columbia for more than 10,000 years. Their geographic territory includes the lands bordering the Salish Sea – Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, Gulf Islands, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Strait of Georgia – as well as the Pacific coast of Washington and northern Oregon.
  • Each tribal group has its own name for themselves. Many tribal names today, such as Tulalip and Muckleshoot, refer to reservations where peoples from many different tribal groups have come together to live.

Today, many Indigenous peoples thrive in this place. Their peoples, cultures, and ways of life remain alive and strong. But we must remember that colonization is an ongoing process, with Native lands still occupied. It is our duty to educate ourselves about the painful history and truth of the treatment of Native peoples in this country. We have provided several resources below to help aid in the continued re-education of Native history in the United States.

For those who are interested in learning more about whose lands you reside on, provides an interactive map that is useful. However, it is important to remember that does not have definitive answers, nor precise territorial boundaries. Once you have learned the name of the Indigenous Peoples on whose land you live, we encourage you to visit their websites to learn more about their peoples and history, and to see if there is an opportunity to provide a land acknowledgement donation. For example, “rent” can be paid to the Duwamish tribe via Real Rent Duwamish.

Additional Resources (these are not exhaustive lists, and we encourage you to do your own research on the history of the Native peoples in your area):

Recommended Videos, Films, and Documentaries:

Recommended Books:

  • Buerge, David M., Chief Seattle and the Town that Took His Name, Sasquatch Books, 2017.
  • Cozzens, Peter, The Earth is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West, Vintage Books, 2016.
  • Dover, Harriette Shelton, Tulalip From My Heart, University of Washington Press, 2013.
  • Dunbar-Ortiz, Rozanne, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Beacon Press, 2014.
  • Mann, Charles C., 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, Vintage Books, 2011.
  • Villanueva, Edgar, Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2018.

This land acknowledgement was written by Meredith Harris and approved by Session. Meredith will graduate from the University of Washington School of Law with a juris doctor in June 2021. She hopes to pursue a career in federal Indian law to advocate on behalf of tribes, to protect and enhance tribal sovereignty, and to ensure that the federal government is held to its Treaty promises.