We acknowledge that Compass Health occupies the traditional homelands of the Semiahmoo, Nooksack, Lummi, Samish, Nuwhaha, Swinomish, Upper Skagit, Stillaguamish, Sauk-Suiattle, Tulalip, Snohomish, and all Coast Salish Peoples – who, since time immemorial, have cared for these lands that we now share.
We recognize the Point Elliott Treaty of 1855 changed the way of life for Coast Salish Peoples. We honor their resiliency and respect their sovereignty.
Compass Health commits to developing better understanding for and relationships with Indigenous peoples in the regions we serve.
Compass Health’s land acknowledgement is a foundational step toward honoring and respecting the land, history, traditions, and experiences of Coast Salish Peoples. In order to increase awareness of the culture and history of Coast Salish Peoples, Compass Health is engaged in an ongoing process to spotlight information regarding Indigenous communities, particularly in the regions we serve. Compass Health is also committed to working on building trust and authentic partnerships with the Tribes in this region.
To see a map of the Native lands where you live, work, and play, visit native-land.ca
FAQs about Compass Health’s Land Acknowledgement
What is a land acknowledgment?
A land acknowledgment statement, as the one above, acknowledges the lands where we currently play, work, and live are the traditional homelands of Indigenous communities. It is more than an acknowledgment of the land though; it is offered and received from a place of respect, awareness, and reflection. Land acknowledgment is a foundational step in a process of recognizing, learning, and honoring the history and culture of Indigenous peoples including the actions and practices of non-Indigenous peoples that had significant adverse and lasting impacts on Indigenous communities.
Why is land acknowledgment important? How does it make a difference?
Land acknowledgment is an initial and foundational step toward reconciliation. It is significant and important for many reasons:
- Indicates reverence and respect for the land and Native inhabitants who have cared for the land from the earliest times.
- Encourages understanding and appreciation of Native culture, past and present.
- Supports the sharing of truth related to the “discovery” of America, colonization, treaties, and current practices that impact Native communities.
- Emphasizes recognition of tribal sovereignty and the resilience of Indigenous peoples.
- States a commitment to learning about and partnering with Indigenous communities.
How did Compass Health develop a land acknowledgment statement?
Compass Health’s Health Equity Committee drafted a land acknowledgment statement with approval of the Compass Health Leadership Team.
The draft statement was shared with Tribal leadership in the region to request feedback. We did not receive feedback via this process, which taught us that Compass Health has work to do to establish the type of relationships that foster trust and communication. Compass Health then reached out to specific points of contact with the Tribes and received feedback from individuals with Lummi Nation and Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe. We also received feedback from the North Sound Accountable Community of Health Tribal & Community Liaison who is a direct descendant of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community.
We revised our statement based on the feedback we received and this statement was presented to the Compass Health Leadership Team and Board of Directors. The Board of Directors approved the statement for use at their May 2022 meeting.
What are Compass Health’s goals in adopting a land acknowledgment statement?
- Open meetings and events with a land acknowledgment in order to publicly and explicitly recognize the land where Compass Health provides services is the traditional homelands of Coast Salish Peoples including 8 federally recognized sovereign Tribal Nations, as well as other Coast Salish Tribes that are not currently federally recognized.
- Increase awareness of the culture and history of Coast Salish Peoples.
- Build relationships with Indigenous communities.
What is Compass Health doing beyond the land acknowledgment statement?
In order to increase awareness of the culture and history of Coast Salish Peoples, Compass Health is engaged in an ongoing process to spotlight information regarding Indigenous communities, particularly in the regions we serve. This includes information about the history in our region such as the Point Elliott Treaty of 1855, current Tribal information and events, as well as training opportunities.
Compass Health is also working on building trust and authentic partnership with the Tribes in this region. This will likely happen in a variety of ways and was shared with us by a member of Lummi Nation, is we need to start with showing up, spending time, and getting to know one another.