Home Education What Goes Unspoken in Land Acknowledgements – Part 2

What Goes Unspoken in Land Acknowledgements – Part 2


As Highline Public Schools increase the use of land acknowledgments, they seem to be replacing the Pledge of Allegiance. We do not want to deny history or pretend that European settlers were the first people on this land. Nor do we wish to negate the massive injustices that Indigenous People have endured and continue to endure. But we need to ask why we are phasing out patriotism — if it’s even legal to do so, and who benefits?


Gem reporters spoke with several elementary through high-school-age students, below are their stories.

Tina**, recalling her experience in middle school, said, “Even though I didn’t say the land acknowledgment, it was said so often that I have it memorized. It was even hanging in some of the classrooms.” One of her teachers would encourage students to volunteer to recite the land acknowledgment by themselves. Tina noticed that some students were judgmental of their peers who did not volunteer. Tina’s teacher also told the class that he donated to Real Rent Duwamish monthly because “we are on their land.” If there is no further discussion, this is virtue signaling, which is one of the reasons Indigenous Peoples have begun to push back on the use of land acknowledgments.

Kristin shared that her middle school included land acknowledgments every day and the teacher called on different students to read them; the students understood that not reading the land acknowledgment affected their participation grade. Whether it’s the Pledge of Allegiance or a land acknowledgment, forcing children to repeat a ritual they do not understand (in ways that impact their grades) is indoctrination.

Washington State Law requires that the Pledge of Allegiance be stated at the beginning of every school day and at all school assemblies. However, Emily, an elementary school student, reported that their librarian leads a land acknowledgment before each class once a week, but they no longer say the Pledge of Allegiance. Chad, a middle schooler, also reported that they no longer recite the Pledge at their school. Schools that do not recite the Pledge of Allegiance are breaking the law. I realize that pointing this out will sound like I’m apologizing for colonizers, but that’s because my generation (the Millennials) was raised to hate America.


My main concern about the proliferation of land acknowledgments is that their constant and potentially unexplained use may be priming kids from a young age to accept the tenets of socialism. Most Indigenous Peoples conceptualized their relationship with the natural world as one of collective stewardship rather than ownership. While it is true that the earth is a gift to human beings, the current ideology is appropriating Indigenous beliefs to push the “you will own nothing and be happy” agenda. This agenda seeks to implement socialism globally and thus to dismantle Western Civilization as we know it. Our children are being trained to accept this ideology without being taught the critical-thinking skills necessary to truly consider its merits and its drawbacks for themselves.

There is a lot more that can and needs to be said about why exactly we started raising people to hate America, as well as the agenda to turn us all into permanent renters, not just of our homes but of everything.  My next article and series will discuss waking up from Wokism.

**All names of students have been changed

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Megan Wildhood is a writer, editor and writing coach who thrives helping entrepreneurs and small business owners create authentic copy to reach the people they feel called to serve. She helps her readers feel seen in her poetry chapbook Long Division (Finishing Line Press, 2017), her upcoming full-length poetry collection Bowed as if Laden with Snow (Cornerstone Press, May 2023) as well as Yes! Magazine, Mad in America, and increasingly less captured outlets like Gem of the Sound. You can learn more about her writing and working with her at meganwildhood.com.

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