The Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (ERUUF) is located on the traditional territories of several Indigenous nations, including the Eno, Shakori, Sissipahaw, Saponi, and Lumbee.

The Eno River and our Fellowship bear the name of the Eno people (or Enoke, also called Wyanoak), who were displaced from their lands by European settler colonizers during the 17th century. The Eno people became absorbed into the Iswa (Catawba) and Saponi Nations.

We gather together as a community of seekers,
to honour the interdependence of life,
to respect the dignity of all,
and to honour the land we walk humbly upon.

Friends, let us acknowledge that we walk upon the traditional territories of the Eno, Shakori, Sissipahaw, Saponi, and Lumbee, the original nations of this land, who continue to cry out for justice and self determination.

We are blessed with a space and opportunity to strive to live out our common principles:
To bring justice, equity and compassion into our daily lives,
To resist all that threatens the earth and her people,
And to live out our dream of a world community of peace, liberty and justice for all.
Let these thoughts carry us forth as we journey and worship together.
Blessed Be.

 

Territorial Acknowledgment by Sean Neil-Barron

 

Why is land acknowledgement important to ERUUF?

Since our founding in 1966, ERUUF has been committed to justice. We continually seek to grow in our awareness and actions to dismantle systems of oppression that perpetuate conditions of inequity.

We recognize the land as an expression of our gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory we reside on, and as a way of honoring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on this land from time immemorial.

It is important for us to understand the long standing history that has brought us to reside on this land, and seek to be conscious of our place within that history. We’ve also come to understand that land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we at ERUUF recognize the need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. We also note that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol.

Adapted from http://www.lspirg.org/knowtheland

Unitarian Universalist Association Action of Immediate Witness

Leading up to the Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly (GA) 2020,which met in the 400th year since the arrival of the Mayflower and the English invasion of Wampanoag territory, UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray convened a task force that worked to center Indigenous voices, counter white supremacist erasure, and lift up Indigenous resilience and resistance at GA. This task force proposed an Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) to “Address 400 Years of White Supremacist Colonialism”, which was overwhelmingly passed by congregational delegates.

The Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) calls for congregations to “Research, identify, and acknowledge the Indigenous peoples historically and/or currently connected with the land occupied by congregations, and find ways to act in solidarity with or even partner with those Indigenous peoples.”

Research, acknowledgement and development of relationships and solidarity with Indigenous people are an important part of resisting and countering the ongoing erasure of Indigenous people. They are also an important part of the reckoning of our congregational and denominational participation in or benefitting from our white supremacist colonial past and present.

The UUA task force asked us to read the entire AIW and to see our research and development of land acknowledgement as simple preliminary actions in the deeper, long-term process of relationship building and cultural healing from the deep harms of colonial genocide. 

 

From https://www.uua.org/justice/blog/beyond-land-acknowledgment

Resources

“Understanding the Land Acknowledgement” 8-minute video by York University

Look up native land map (https://native-land.ca/)

Native Governance Center (Guide to Land Acknowledgement) -- https://nativegov.org/a-guide-to-indigenous-land-acknowledgment/)

North Carolina Indigenous Peoples:

https://digital.ncdcr.gov/digital/collection/p249901coll22/id/76866

https://www.ncpedia.org/eno-indians

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eno_people#:~:text=The%20Eno%20or%20Enoke%2C%20also,and%2For%20the%20Saponi%20tribes

https://americanindiancenter.unc.edu/resources/about-nc-native-communities/Eno people

https://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/american-indian/handouts/timeline