Ethnic Studies Department Land Acknowledgement & Ancestor Libation: A Call to Action

By Amber Rose González (Xicana~Apache), Fullerton College Ethnic Studies Department © 2021. In consultation with Rebecca Robles (Acjachemen/Juaneño descendant) & Michelle Castillo (Chicana/Acjachemen). Reviewed by NOCCCD Native American Faculty and Staff Alliance (NAFSA) / @NOCCCD_NAFSA  

Fullerton College is located on the unceded ancestral lands shared by the Gabrielino-Tongva Nation and the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians/Acjachemen Nation, who have been the traditional caretakers since time immemorial. Tongva and Acjachemen peoples maintain a strong presence in North Orange county and throughout Southern California, protecting their homelands, knowledge systems, and cultures for the next seven generations. We acknowledge the ingenuity, survival, resilience, and strength of their descendants and relatives––past, present, and emerging. We also acknowledge the labor of those who work on and care for these lands, both in the past and today, and all those who act in solidarity with Indigenous struggles.

As Ethnic Studies educators, we believe that we are a manifestation of our ancestors’ visions, carrying them with us in into the spaces that we occupy. We acknowledge those who have crossed into the spirit realm––especially those who were taken from this world too soon as a result of systemic violence. The work we do is dedicated to honoring their memories, so that we may never forget their stories, and to transforming intergenerational wounds to build a brighter future for us all.


“In countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and among tribal nations in the U.S., it is commonplace, even policy, to open events and gatherings by acknowledging the traditional Indigenous inhabitants of that land. While some individuals and cultural and educational institutions in the United States have adopted this custom, the vast majority have not” (Honor Native Land). It is our collective responsibility to move beyond acknowledgement by actively working to redress the legacy of settler colonialism and genocide, to support and uplift Native American students, faculty, and staff at NOCCCD, and to build meaningful, respectful, and reciprocal relationships with local Indigenous communities and support their ongoing struggles for sovereignty. It is in this spirit that we provide a list of action items, groups and organizations to support, as well as educational resources. This is by no means an exhaustive list and we encourage you to do additional research.