Allyship in Action makes the following evolving acknowledgements to recognize the power, joy, and brilliance of Indigenous and Black people whose legacies shape this place we call home.
Our company was formed by Erin Rook, Kerani Mitchell, and LeeAnn O’Neill, who are not indigenous to this place, on land adjacent to the Warm Springs Nation. By way of colonialism and white supremacy in our community and country, we have unjustly benefited from forceful displacement of and acts of genocide against the people who are native to this place. Through continual learning and unlearning, we aim to honor the histories of those whose land our work and lives unfold upon, in the indigenous territory of:
The Warm Springs bands, Wasco bands, and Northern Paiutes: In 1855, the Warm Springs and Wasco bands was forced to relinquish 10 million acres of land to the U.S. government, but reserved the Warm Springs Reservation for their exclusive use and kept their rights to harvest fish, game, and other foods in their traditional places. The settlement of the Paiutes on the Warm Springs Reservation began in 1879 when 38 Paiutes moved to Warm Springs from the Yakama Reservation. They were originally forced to the Yakama Reservation because they joined the Bannocks in a war against the U.S. army. Their descendants are members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs today.
The Wadatika band of the Northern Paiutes: The Wadatika band of the Northern Paiutes maintain aboriginal title to much of their territory because their ancestors resisted encroachment of settlers and refused to cede their lands. In 1869, the U.S. government set aside 1.8 million acres of land for the Malheur Reservation, but the Bannock War forced the Wadatika band of the Northern Paiutes out of the Harney Valley. When they returned, they were left landless because the U.S. government took the Malheur Reservation back. A makeshift tribal encampment was established outside present day Burns. Their descendants are members of the Burns Paiute Tribe today.
The 6 tribes of the Klamath, the Modoc, and the Yahooskin-Paiute band: After decades of hostilities with the invaders, the Klamath Tribes were forced to cede more than 23 million acres of land in 1864 which began their reservation era. By the 1950s the Klamath Tribes were one of the wealthiest tribes in the United States due to their tribal timber industry. In 1954, the Klamath Tribes were terminated from federal recognition by an act of congress and the federal government stole 1.8 million acres of reservation land. They were recognized again in 1986, but their land was not returned. Their descendants are members of the Klamath Tribes today.
Allyship in Action also acknowledges the Black and African labor that was forcefully extracted to build the prosperity of our country, and the intentional exclusion of Black people from that prosperity and from settling in Oregon and our community.
To honor the past and present, Allyship in Action engages in equity and social justice work from a collective liberation framework. The social injustices and inequities across our communities and people are inextricably connected, as are our triumphs and reparations on the path toward liberation. We believe that no one is free from our local community’s and country’s legacies of colonialism and white supremacy unless we are all free.
To that end, our company provides ongoing support for and donations to Indigenous and Black-led organizations, such as the Chúush fund, Warm Springs Community Action Team, Indigenous Helpers, Papalaxsimisha, Tananáwit, Indigenize, COCC First Nations Student Union, and The Father’s Group.
[Allyship in Action last updated this territory acknowledgment on August 31, 2022. It is an ever-changing acknowledgment as we engage in ongoing self-reflection, as we learn more, and as our relationship with local Indigenous communities grows and evolves. For guidance in creating your own indigenous territory acknowledgment, check out A Guide to Indigenous Land Acknowledgment by the Native Governance Center and A Perspective On Territory Acknowledgments by Jaylyn Suppah.]