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Central Washington University Land Acknowledgment

CWU Ellensburg campus

Central Washington University in Ellensburg


Central Washington University honors the Native people and land on which CWU is located, in Kittitas County.

We have a responsibility to make visible and take ownership of power dynamics, privilege and oppression that have been perpetuated through systems of inequity, colonization, and imperialism. We need to model this to our students and provide opportunities for amplifying practices that  are educational, inclusive, and promote healing systemic wrongs.

Incorporating the CWU Land Acknowledgment into your gatherings allows CWU to honor Native and Indigenous members of our community and to provide an opportunity to learn for those who are not Indigenous and Native peoples.

The CWU Land Acknowledgement reads as follows:

Central Washington University acknowledges the people who have been on this land since time immemorial. The Ellensburg campus is on lands ceded by the Pshwanapum and other bands and tribes of the Yakama Nation in the Treaty of 1855. The Yakama people remain committed stewards of this land, cherishing it and protecting it, as instructed by elders through generations. We are honored and grateful to be here today on their traditional lands, and give thanks to the legacy of the original people, their lives, and their descendants.

When using this statement, tailor the closing as appropriate. Add a statement of commitment as a last sentence, such as commitment to repatriate, to consult, to communicate, to …

The campus community may present the land acknowledgment statement at any CWU event held on the   Ellensburg campus and at CWU-Yakima and CWU-Wenatchee. The statement is not appropriate to use at other CWU locations that were not the traditional home of the Yakama people.

For more information, contact Kandee Cleary, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusivity at delores.cleary@cwu.edu or 509-963-2152.