Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)

Northern Arizona University's Land Acknowledgement

Our Land Acknowledgement recognizes the unique and enduring relationship existing between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories: 

Northern Arizona University sits at the base of the San Francisco Peaks, on homelands sacred to Native Americans throughout the region. We honor their past, present, and future generations, who have lived here for millennia and will forever call this place home.

The power of place

“Our elders tell us to know our history, including the origins of our homelands. In order for our language and culture to survive, we must stay rooted in the land that is our identity. Our homeland is the source of all that sustains us; where our food source comes from; where are water comes from; our way of knowing and understanding life is based on a sense of power and significance of place.”
– Ron Lee Diné (Navajo), Sr. Director of Development, NAU

Everything ties to the land

Read more about the importance of NAU’s land acknowledgement from Ron Lee.

Learn more

Frequently asked questions

What is a Land Acknowledgement?

A land acknowledgement is, at its core, a formal statement of recognition and respect for the deep and enduring ties of Indigenous Peoples to a particular geographic location. A land acknowledgement should raise public awareness of the systemic erasure of Indigenous cultures and lifeways through the trauma of colonization. 

Land acknowledgments are also a way for Indigenous Peoples to call out to the landscape that is embedded with our ancestral connections, our culture, our languages, and our identities. The act of naming has power within many Indigenous nations. By naming the landscape in our land acknowledgement, and the Indigenous connections maintained through songs, prayers, and offerings, we honor Indigenous Peoples and those who are a part of our NAU community. 

Why do we have one at NAU?

Located at the base of the San Francisco Peaks, NAU’s geographical location demands we recognize that these are unceded traditional homelands and a place held sacred by more than a dozen Native American tribes, including Apache, Hopi, Hualapai, Navajo, and Yavapai. Additionally, this land acknowledgement is part of the ongoing process to Indigenize the university as NAU continues to strive toward achieving its strategic goal of becoming the country’s top university serving Native American students. NAU’s Land Acknowledgment was adopted in 2017.

How do we use it?

There are many places and situations to use NAU’s Land Acknowledgement. It is important to note that the statement must be used in its entirety, whether spoken or written, and not altered in any way. NAU students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to include the NAU Land Acknowledgement in email signatures. The statement can also be read at events and gatherings of any kind held on NAU’s Flagstaff campus and within the community. This includes events such as official university ceremonies, sporting events, public lectures, performances, and conferences. It can also be included in digital and printed matter as appropriate.

Local cultural landscapes


San Francisco Peaks


Navajo Nation landscape


Kendrick park


Keet Seel, Navajo National Monument


San Francisco Peaks


Grand Falls