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Liberty High School Students, Staff Share Land Acknowledgement Video

Screen grab of YouTube video stating "Liberty High School Land Acknowledgement"

The Liberty High School Equity Club recently partnered with other students, staff members and the Snoqualmie and Duwamish tribes to create a video to explain the purpose of land acknowledgements, and also to acknowledge the First People of this land since Time Immemorial. 
In the video, members of the Equity Club interview McKenna Sweet Dorman, Assistant Director of Governmental Affairs & Special Projects for the Snoqualmie Tribe. Sweet Dorman shares that she hopes using the land acknowledgement throughout the district will not only lead people to reflect and understand, but to want to keep learning more.  “I would say that’s true of anywhere that you go: Making sure that you’re walking in that mindfulness and understanding. There’s always a long history, no matter where you’re walking on this earth, and people are connected to those places,” she said. 

The team that created the video invite you to watch Liberty’s land acknowledgement, and ask you to reflect in your own place in time and space. 

Others who helped with the video project include: students Amira Turner, Naomi Sato, Shreya Vommi, Shagun Seth, Nicholas Grabowski, Arkin Rao, Desi Arnaiz and Andrew Stephens; LHS teacher and building Equity Lead Kaela Yuen; social studies teacher Peter Kurtz; theater director and video production teacher Michael Butterworth; Equity Club adviser Raquel Montoya; art teacher Kelsey Helmick; ASB adviser Michelle Munson; and Elementary Technology Specialist Dawn Harper, who is a member of the district team working on the Land Acknowledgement project. 

“We felt the video was the best way to get the word out to all of our students without placing the burden on each teacher to learn the Land Acknowledgment,” Yuen said “The goal was a consistent message for our entire staff and student body to hear, and we’re proud of what we were able to accomplish in that light.” 

Harper said that Liberty's Equity team has fully embraced the ISD Land Acknowledgement. “What I find so amazing about the video LHS created is how it captures the energy behind this work and the connection staff and students feel for land acknowledgement,” she said. “They have worked hard to bring awareness to their staff, students, and community; the video is only one example of their work.”  

At the Oct. 14 School Board meeting, ISD Executive Director of Equity Alaina Sivadasan presented the district’s Land Acknowledgement, which was created in collaboration with the Snoqualmie Tribe. The Issaquah School Board on Oct. 28 adopted a proclamation in partnership with the Snoqualmie Tribe Ancestral Lands Movement and approving the district’s land acknowledgement. Both meetings are available to watch on our YouTube Channel

This work continues districtwide as our students, staff, and community members engage in these efforts. We will share more about this evolving story in the future.