Land Acknowledgment

Tufts University is located on colonized Wôpanâak (Wampanoag) and Massachusett Tribe traditional territory.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, also known as the People of the First Light, has inhabited present day Massachusetts and Eastern Rhode Island for more than 12,000 years. After an arduous process lasting more than three decades, the Mashpee Wampanoag were re-acknowledged as a federally recognized tribe in 2007. In 2015, the federal government declared 150 acres of land in Mashpee and 170 acres of land in Taunton as the Tribe’s initial reservation, on which the Tribe can exercise its full tribal sovereignty rights. The Mashpee tribe currently has approximately 2,600 enrolled citizens.

The Massachusett tribe are the descendants of the original people that the English Invaders first encountered in what is now the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We against all odds have survived as the descendants of the first people of Massachusetts. We continue to survive as Massachusett people because we have retained the oral tradition of storytelling just as our ancestors did. This tradition passes on the Massachusett view of how our world works, our relationship with all of nature and why things are the way they are. There are ways of perceiving and doing things in our community that trace back thousands of years. There are medicine ways thousands of years old that we still practice today. We honor our ancestors for keeping the traditions they were able to keep, for their foresight, for the gifts they left to us and for their continued guidance.

The Decolonizing International Relations Conference Team at The Fletcher School encourages all institutional and student organizations at The Fletcher School, Tufts University, and our peer institutions elsewhere to normalize and demand land acknowledgment practices.