Official Land Acknowledgement Statement

Official Land Acknowledgement Statement

Land Acknowledgement: Background is of North and Central America with the words "You are on Osage, Otoe-Missouria, Illini, and Ioway Land" overlaid
Photo Description: Artwork & Design by Warren Montoya-Tamaya and Kha’po Owingeh; Jaclyn Roessel-Diné, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture

Why Land Acknowledgement

For non-Indigenous communities, land acknowledgment is a powerful way of showing respect and honoring the Indigenous peoples of the land on which we work and live. Land acknowledgment is a formal way to recognize the Indigenous peoples who were removed — often violently — from their land due to colonization; a way to bring to light broken treaties and promises; and a way to start speaking out against the genocide, cultural appropriation, and all the other wrongdoings we have done to the Indigenous peoples of North America. It is a way to acknowledge that these people still exist and practice their cultures today. Acknowledgment is a simple way of resisting the erasure of Indigenous histories and working towards honoring and inviting the truth.  

Land Acknowledgement for Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

The members of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage formally and publicly pay tribute to the original Indigenous inhabitants of the land on which our village is built. We acknowledge the destructive impacts that colonization, oppression, and systemic and structural racism have had and continue to have on Indigenous peoples and their communities. Through colonization, treaties, forced removal, allotment, and other acts of displacement, Native peoples have been subjected to devastating losses in life, land, and civil rights. 

There are currently no federally recognized tribes in Missouri. All original Missouri tribes were forced to leave the state after the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 under President Andrew Jackson.

Original tribes and owners of the land of Northeastern Missouri

Tribes that were forced to cede hunting grounds

The Eastern Dakota or Santee Sioux (Sisseton, Mdewakanton, Wahpekute, Wahpeton) were originally located in the Midwest & Plains and were forced to cede hunting grounds in Missouri in 1936.

Other tribes whose land was taken in Missouri

Our Pledge to Support Indigenous Peoples

While we understand that this in no way can undo the damage done to generations of Indigenous people, we donated a portion of contributions made to The Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture to the American Indian College Fund, which supports Native student access to higher education. We are beginning to explore what our responsibility might be in response to this legacy, and hope to move toward full truth and reconciliation.

Our Name

In 1993, when Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage was just an idea informally entitled “the ecovillage project,” the founding members were faced with the need for a better name; they had reserved a booth at an Earth Day celebration at Stanford University. One of them happened to be reading the book Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon. She had just finished the chapter mentioning the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in the state of Mississippi. Chosen at random from the book, no attention was paid (at the time) to the destruction associated with the broken treaty between the Choctaw Tribe and European settlers. The name “Dancing Rabbit” seemed whimsical, attention-getting, and best of all, memorable. It also seemed a bit silly; the name “Dancing Rabbit” was intended as a placeholder only until they found a more suitable “real” name.

But the name Dancing Rabbit stuck; it was memorable. In 2015, to help clarify the distinction between the non-profit arm of Dancing Rabbit and the village, a more appropriate name was chosen for the non-profit: The Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture. The village itself retained the Dancing Rabbit name. 

We know more now. But rather than change the name of our village, it is our intention to use our experience and the name “Dancing Rabbit” to help educate and bring attention to the disparities, racism and violence faced by Indigenous people then, and now. Rather than erase the destruction associated with the history of our name, we want to acknowledge it so that we can move forward as a community. Our goal is for each of us to be better allies. Because now that we do know, we have a moral obligation to work for change and reconciliation.

Please see our Resources below for more information.


Find out more about the land you’re on at:

Indigenous In Plain Sight. Gregg Deal, TEDxBoulder

‘We the People’ – the three most misunderstood words in US history. Mark Charles, TEDxTysons

The Teen Vogue Lesson PlanA fabulous collection of curated stories that will help aid education in and outside the classroom on topics not often taught within private or public schools today. These include Non-Whitewashed U.S. History, Workers’ Rights 101, and On Planet Earth.

National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian) FAQ (including Terminology, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, Mascots, Tribal Soverignity.)

Indigenous Peoples terminology guidelines for usage

PBS American Experience: We Shall Remain. Available on

RECOMMENDED READING (in no particular order):

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (Revisioning History) by Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

The New York Public Library: 20 Recommended Reads Honoring Indigenous Peoples

The Other Slavery: the Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Resndez, Andrs

“All the Real Indians Died Off”: and 20 Other Myths About Native Americans by Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne, Gilio-Whitaker, Dina

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life by David Treuer

Kill the Indian, Save the Man: The Genocidal Impact of American Indian Residential Schools by Ward Churchill