We Are All Treaty People

Negotiating the concept of Land Grant with Indigenous understandings of place and being is critical in recognizing and acknowledging the intersection of our complex history, our current realities and our future hopes and desires. OSU150 affords us the opportunity to reflect not only upon the notion of the Land Grant but also to reflect on the Land itself, its many meanings and more importantly on our relationships to Native nations who remain the original stewards.

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Much of where OSU now stands is upon lands ceded by treaties signed between Indigenous nations and the U.S. Government. This relationship between land, peoples and recognition needs to be continuously reaffirmed. As the “supreme law of the land”, treaties define not only who and what we are as a nation but also who we are legally and morally. As we reflect on OSU150 and our Land Grant mission to serve the peoples of Oregon, let us also consider how we might reframe our next 150 years. In what ways might OSU not only acknowledge the long and complex history of its Land Grant origins, but also seek to advance greater and deeper relationships and understandings with Native nations throughout Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

Throughout 2018 and 2019, in honor of developing a deeper understanding of our shared treaty responsibilities, Oregon State University hosted a series of speakers and topics related to indigenous issues. We are all treaty people is a reminder to all of us, both Native and non-Native, that by learning about our colonial past we can renew our relationships with each other and move towards meaningful reconciliation.