What Is a Land Acknowledgment?
A Land Acknowledgment is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Native peoples as traditional guardians of lands and the enduring relationship that exists between Native peoples and their traditional territories.
Idaho State University's Land Acknowledgment Statement
Acknowledging Native lands is an important way to honor and respect Indigenous peoples and their traditional territories. The land on which Idaho State University’s Pocatello campus sits is within the original Fort Hall Reservation boundaries and is the traditional and ancestral home of the Shoshone and Bannock peoples. We acknowledge the Fort Hall Shoshone and Bannock peoples, their elders past and present, their future generations, and all Indigenous peoples, including those upon whose land the University is located. We offer gratitude for the land itself and the original caretakers of it.
As a public research university, it is our ongoing commitment and responsibility to teach accurate histories of the regional Indigenous people and of our institutional relationship with them. It is our commitment to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and to ISU’s citizens that we will collaborate on future educational discourse and activities in our communities.
In an effort to show respect and recognize their intrinsic ties to the land, we acknowledge that Idaho State University (ISU) is located on the traditional territories of the Shoshone, Bannock, and Paiute peoples, collectively known as the Newe. The Newe traditional lands were vast and extended into what are now the states of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, and beyond.
The Executive Order of June 14, 1867, signed by President Andrew Johnson, established the Fort Hall Reservation of 1.8 million acres of land, which was set aside for the Tribes’ sole and undisturbed use. Due to nineteenth-century federal Indian policy, the Fort Bridger Treaty of 1868 was negotiated and signed by the Indian leaders and the United States. Between 1882 and 1902, local settlers, businesses, and the State of Idaho pressured the Shoshone and Bannock peoples to cede the entire southern and central sections of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, including Pocatello, Inkom, Downey, McCammon, and Lava Hot Springs.
Thus, the main campus of ISU is located within the original Fort Hall Reservation boundaries, on lands ceded in the 1900 Cessation Act. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes is currently the largest land-based tribe in Idaho and has over 6,000 enrolled tribal members and contributes over $400 million annually to the local and regional economies.
How and Why to Use the Land Acknowledgment:
The objective of these guidelines is to establish recommendations for Idaho State University employees and student organizations about appropriate and consistent recognition and acknowledgment of Native peoples as the traditional guardians of the lands on which the Idaho State University is situated.
The official Land Acknowledgment may be used by anyone wishing to share it at the start of their courses, presentations, and events. The official Land Acknowledgment will be shared at the start of:
- University Commencements
- University Convocation
- Large Scale University-Wide Events
Regardless of the length of the Acknowledgment, the Acknowledgment is read aloud as the first order of business or at the opening of an event by the first speaker or host.
Guidance for Faculty, Staff, and Students:
Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to use the provided official university Land Acknowledgment resources to:
We hope you will use this Land Acknowledgment and the resources provided on this website to begin a conversation about the history and contributions of the Native American peoples who have lived and continue to live in the Idaho State region. Please see the resources below to learn more about the Shoshone, Bannock, and Paiute peoples.