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Salem State Announces Commitments to Indigenous Community

Salem State University’s Land Acknowledgement includes commitments to continuously learn and share the history and stories of  the Massachusett and other Indigenous People who have been and remain here, develop and implement initiatives that work toward repairing the injustices continuously being committed on the Indigenous People of this land,  make our own environmental impact on this land as sustainable as possible, and to engage with the Massachusett and all Indigenous People in and around the Salem State community. An initial set of plans and projects that manifest those commitments can be found here. In that spirit, we are pleased to announce Salem State’s  Indigenous Peoples’ Scholarship which will be first awarded in fall 2026.

As an initial marker of our acknowledgment and commitments, and as an example of initiatives focused on addressing injustices continuously being committed on the Indigenous People of this land and repairing relationships with the Massachusett and all of our Indigenous community members, Salem State plans to:

  • Starting in fall, 2023, share this land acknowledgment widely with the campus community, along with information about the purpose as well as the limitations of land acknowledgments, resources for learning more about the history and presence of Naumkeag, the Massachusett, and all Indigenous People in and around Salem State, as well as recommendations for the use of this land acknowledgment in spoken and written form.
  • Announce the Indigenous Peoples’ Scholarship, to be first awarded in fall 2026.
    • Salem State University is built on Indigenous land, of which the people of Naumkeag were dispossessed. In the spirit of reparative justice, this scholarship is part of Salem State’s reconciliation process and an example of an initiative which focuses on reparations that welcome Indigenous people as members of our campus community. With this scholarship, Salem State marks the beginning of its material investment in repairing the relationships among institutions of public higher education and Indigenous people. 
    • The scholarship, which will be available to students starting in Academic Year 2026/2027, will be awarded to students who honor the history of Indigenous people with lived experience, with preference to students who receive the Native American Tuition Credit via the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs. 
    • Students applying for the scholarship will be required to answer the question: Please describe in 500 words or less: 1) your experiences as an individual historically underrepresented in higher education, or learning, living and/or working with those who are historically underrepresented in higher education; and/or 2) your experiences as an Indigenous person and/or working with Indigenous people. The essay may discuss one or all of these subjects.
  • Commence in 2023-2024 the annual celebration of Native American History Month, in parallel to the celebration of the heritage, history, and pride months that we currently honor and in consultation with the Massachusett Tribe.
  • Sponsor, through the Office of Inclusive Excellence, an annual film and/or panel talk on a theme of current importance to Indigenous communities, in consultation with the Massachusett Tribe and other Indigenous partners such as the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness.
  • Continue and expand ongoing education of our campus community in Indigenous history and presence, including but not limited to library displays and sessions, continued curricular offerings in Indigenous Studies, scholarly talks, and presentations.
  • Through the Office of Inclusive Excellence, consult and/or collaborate with the Massachusett Tribe on at least one project or event each year.
  • Led by the Office of Inclusive Excellence and members of the history department, and in consultation with the Massachusett Tribe, consider changes to the mural in Meier Hall.
  • Led by members of the history department, research the labor that built Salem State and consider adopting a labor acknowledgment. 
Inclusive Excellence
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