We operate on occupied territories called Waawiiyaataanong. This was named by the Anishinaabeg, which include the Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe (Chippewa), Odawa (Ottawa), and Bodewatomi (Potawatomi) peoples. MOCAD aims to uphold and seeks to advocate for and support the advancement of the sovereignty of Michigan’s twelve federally-recognized Indian nations as well as Indigenous communities and individuals who have lived here, and live here now.
We hold to commit to Indigenous communities in Waawiiyaataanong, their elders both past and present, and future generations. We recognize that all Indigenous peoples—here and beyond, whose Land has been occupied—have and continue to be forcibly removed from their homelands. This is in solidarity with Black and Indigenous communities who continue to be systemically excluded and oppressed through ongoing damaging effects of settler colonialism, genocide, and myths of white supremacy.
MOCAD recognizes that any land acknowledgment we participate in and pronounce must be part of a living process of growing relationships. Any acknowledgement must be spoken alongside an ongoing commitment to dismantling the continuing effects of settler-colonialism, in order to serve Detroit’s Indigenous communities.
MOCAD is dedicated to facilitating the activities of the Waawiiyaataanong Arts Council, working towards deeper levels of dialogue, engagement, advocacy, and material support. This acknowledgement should not act as closure, but will advance further concrete actions.
This land acknowledgement is part of an ongoing process supported by MOCAD and the Waawiiyaataanong Arts Council. For more information about this effort visit Landback313.org.