The Michigan Tech American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) chapter sent a public statement and letter to staff members regarding the cancellation of “Guidance for (Land) Acknowledgements within Ojibwa Homelands,” an event due to take place on Nov. 30 of last year. The open letter was forwarded to The Lode team from our advisor.
We contacted the sender, President of AISES at Michigan Tech, Robert Hazen, and he provided us with this statement:
“The members of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society worked diligently through the final weeks of our fall semester– time that should have been spent studying for exams and finishing final projects– to draft up our concerns in this letter that is related to the exclusion of Indigenous students from events like the canceled land acknowledgment event. The events where we voice our concerns usually cover topics related to Indigenous Peoples and communities, but these events lack true Indigenous representation and voices. Self-appointed allies often speak on behalf of Indigenous Peoples and their respective communities, and it must come to an end. Our letter serves as our sounding board for all to read to bring awareness to our concerns and to understand why Indigenous Peoples must have a seat at the table on events that are related to us and our communities. AISES looks forward to any support the campus community will offer.”
The main concern raised by AISES was their initial exclusion from the event and sloppy inclusion of them, which included only allowing AISES to review content days before the scheduled event. The event was then canceled at the last minute. The letter was sent out on Dec. 4 and was followed by a public statement sent out with the email on Dec. 6. Please refer to the following links for the letter and public statement: letter link public statement link