What is a Land Acknowledgment?
A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.
Why do we recognize the land?
To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, a way of showing awareness of Indigenous presence and land rights in everyday life. We feel it is important to understand the history that has brought us to reside on the land, and to seek to understand our place within that history.
Our Land Acknowledgement
We would like to acknowledge that our theatre sits on the traditional, ancestral, and current home of Native Americans, Indigenous, and First Nations people. We ask you to join us in acknowledging the many tribal groups from our area, including the Osage, Kaw, Missouria, Shawnee and Wyandot tribes.We honor the elders, both past and present, and this calls us to commit to continuing to learn their stories as well as how to be better stewards of the land that we occupy.
Sharing Indigenous Voices
We feel it is important to recognize the history of the land where our theatres reside and share the stories of these communities. As part of these efforts, we are excited to be commissioning Mary Kathryn Nagle as our first American Crossroads Residency playwright resident, and Madeline Easley, as the inaugural resident of the Four Directions Playwright Residency, a program inaugurated to support early career Native Playwrights by four arts organizations: The Great Plains Theatre Commons (GPCT), Tofte Lakes Center, Tulsa Artists fellowship, and KCRep.
Mary Kathryn Nagle is an enrolled member of the Cherokee nation, and is a playwright and attorney whose work focuses on the restoration of tribal sovereignty and the inherent right of Indian nations to protect their women and children from domestic violence and sexual assault. During her time in residency at KCRep, she will be working to create an OriginKC: World Premiere play centered around Indigenous experiences in Kansas City. Of the Residency, she said: “having grown up in the Kansas City area, I am thrilled to return home and work with KCRep to tell a Kansas City story about the Indigenous peoples and Native Nations who have shaped Kansas City into the community that Kansas City is today.”
Madeline Easley (she/her) is a Wyandotte artist whose work as a writer and performer converges at the intersection of magical realism and elevation of Tribal Sovereignty, the inherent right of Tribal Nations to govern themselves. Born in Kansas City, MO, Madeline is a proud citizen of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma. She seeks to infuse her cultural inheritance within community-centric narratives to advance recognition, healing, and strength to challenge the colonial dystopia that denies Indigenous history and futurisms.
Here are some ways you can be involved:
- Support the Kansas City Indian Center
- Sign the #ChangetheName petition, via Not in Our Honor
- Via KCUR, “Otoe-Missouria tribe finally welcomed back to their homeland, 200 years after being forced out”
- Visit the Shawnee Indian Mission State Historical Site
- Learn about the Wyandotte Nation
- Learn about the Haskell Foundation and follow the Haskell Greenhouse