In acknowledging the Lenape as the original people of the land upon which our New York office sits, the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (AIPG) wishes to express its gratitude for the nurture with which they have cared for their homeland, Lenapehoking. Lenapehoking reaches from modern-day Delaware to Connecticut and as such, we recognize our status as guests on Manahahtaan, as it is called in the Munsee dialect of Lenape. We acknowledge that the rich cultural practices of the Lenape, as well as their deep connection to Lenapehoking, existed long before the arrival of Europeans to Turtle Island and that they will continue long into the future. In addition to acknowledging the Lenape present in Lenapehoking, as well as those that continue to return to their homeland, we believe it is important to acknowledge the settler-colonial genocide which, still today, continues to be perpetrated against them and which attempts to erase them from history. We denounce the broken promises and violated agreements that the United States’ federal, state, and local governments have made to the Lenape and other indigenous communities. We recognize the resilience of the Lenape who have resisted this genocide and whose lives and culture stand today in defiance of it. As guests in Lenapehoking, we believe it is our obligation to counter this erasure as well as the myth of the “doctrine of discovery” with our words and with our actions. We recognize the importance of the words that make up a land acknowledgement, but we also recognize that these words must be made real with the actions that are within our means to implement. As such, we commit to taking the following actions to make this land acknowledgement a _living_ land acknowledgement under the guidance of our partners in the Lenape community:
Roland-Sylvestre DAWA is a Legal Lecturer and Researcher at the Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences at the University of Bangui in the Central African Republic (CAR) and a Ph.D. student in International Relations, specializing in international politics at IRIC Yaoundé in Cameroon. He has participated in three AIPG online training courses and in-person training sessions on the prevention of genocide and identity-based violence.