Native American Student Development
Native American Student Development stands in solidarity with the Black community
In these already troubled times, the recent tragic loss of the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and continued violence on black people in this country is both heartbreaking and enraging. We write to affirm Black Lives Matter, and to condemn the historical and continuing violence of police, of states and of the nation on Black communities and individuals. We write to express the disgust at the politicization of these tragic injustices. We write to affirm the indigenous and Black solidarity that has existed through centuries of struggle in both communities. We write this statement as we know that it is our responsibility to speak out and denounce the violence, systematic oppression and structural racism that permeates this country, which disproportionately impacts Black communities. We stand behind and in support of Black and afro-indigenous people everywhere.
This country was built on bodies - of slavery and genocide. This system is not broken, it is a system designed to maintain racial order - to uphold white supremacy. We know this deeply. It is time for a new system, it is time for change.
We support and celebrate the courage of those who are standing up, using their voices to amplify messages of righteous outrage, justice, love and change. We urge our communities, especially our non-Black communities, our families, our friends and our colleagues to challenge the anti-Black sentiments that we encounter. Because Black lives matter. We all have a role to play, we must work together, using our voices and actions to move our country to be something better. There are many ways that we can support Black communities; through protest; through donating to Black organizations and advocacy and social justice groups; through educating yourself; or through amplifying the voices of Black communities, organizations or individuals. But we must act. And we must come together to affirm that Black Lives Matter.
The Native American Student Development office (NASD) at Berkeley exists to serve and support the diverse and changing needs of Native students in their time at Cal. We strive to provide relevant, accessible and engaging programs and resources, promote intertribal and cross cultural approaches to community building with a social justice lens.
We work to partner with both off and on-campus entities to provide students with the best experience possible in their time here, while also supporting continuing growth and understanding of their individual identities as Native people. We also work to bring the histories, experiences and worldviews into a valued realm within the university as a whole.
Acknowledgement of land and place
At NASD, we recognize that Berkeley sits on the territory of xučyun (Huichin (Hoo-Choon), the ancestral and unceded land of the Chochenyo (Cho-chen-yo) speaking Ohlone people, the successors of the historic and sovereign Verona Band of Alameda County. This land was and continues to be of great importance to the Muwekma (Muh-wek-muh) Ohlone Tribe and other familial descendants of the Verona Band.
We recognize that every member of the Berkeley community has benefitted, and continues to benefit, from the use and occupation of this land since the institution’s founding in 1868. Consistent with our values of community and diversity, we have a responsibility to acknowledge and make visible the university’s relationship to Native peoples. By offering this Land Acknowledgement, we affirm Indigenous sovereignty and will work to hold the University of California, Berkeley more accountable to the needs of American Indian and Indigenous peoples.
This statement was developed in partnership with the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe and is a living document