Announcing the Indigenous Land Statement Committee
April 13, 2021
Dear Members of the Brandeis community,
Today, I am pleased to announce the formation of a university-wide Indigenous Land Statement Committee, which will be tasked with developing an accurate and informative statement that acknowledges the Indigenous land on which Brandeis University resides.
As you may know, land acknowledgments are formal statements that honor Indigenous Peoples and their relationship to the land on which an organization sits. While many departments, clubs, and other groups at Brandeis already include a land acknowledgment as part of their events, the university does not have a standard, institution-wide statement.
Co-chaired by Mark Brimhall-Vargas, Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Dorothy Hodgson, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Anthropology, the Indigenous Land Statement Committee will undertake a review to determine the best practices for land statements; accurately determine the Indigenous peoples associated with the location of Brandeis’ physical campus; solicit advice and input from off-campus Indigenous organizations; and provide the community with an opportunity to provide feedback on the draft statement.
The Committee will provide me with a vetted statement for consideration, as well as suggested guidelines for the intended use of this statement, by Indigenous People’s Day (October 11, 2021).
Mark and Dorothy will be joined by a broad cross-section of the campus community, in addition to one member of the Brandeis Board of Trustees. Here is the full list of Committee members:
- Mark Brimhall-Vargas, Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Co-Chair
- Dorothy Hodgson, Dean, School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Anthropology; Co-Chair
- Gannit Ankori, Professor of Fine Arts and Henry and Lois Foster Director and Chief Curator, Rose Art Museum
- Charlotte Goudge, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
- Emilie Connolly, Assistant Professor of History
- ChaeRan Freeze, Frances and Max Elkon Chair in Modern Jewish History
- Monique Nelson, Board of Trustees
- Zachary Kasdin, Special Assistant to the President
- Jaya King, Undergraduate Student
- Jeffrey Lenowitz, Meyer and W. Walter Jaffe Assistant Professor of Politics
- Steven Locke, General Counsel
- William O'Reilly, Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the President
- Dakota Roundtree-Swain, Ph.D. Student, Heller
- Marren Sanders, Program Director for University Records Management
- Lois Stanley, Vice President for Campus Operations
- Selah Bickel, Undergraduate Student
I would like to thank the Committee in advance for its work in crafting this important university statement.