Untying Knots

Untying Knots: Beyond Land Acknowledgment - Accountable Action in Partnership with Native Nations

Episode Summary

Land Acknowledgements have become popularized by organizations and non-Native communities in 2022, but what are their actual impact?

Episode Notes

Land Acknowledgements have become increasingly popular in many organizations and non-Indigenous communities over the last few years, but what is their actual impact? We sat down with Michaela Madrid and Jessica Gliden, Program Managers in Tribal Governance and Leadership Development at the Native Governance Center, to explore this question and their work with Tribal leaders and the 23 Native nations that share geography with Mni Sota Makoce, North Dakota, and South Dakota. They joined us for a live recording in Boston after leading a workshop for IARA’s Truth and Transformation 2022 conference entitled Beyond the Land Acknowledgement.

As Michaela notes, “A lot of times organizations really spin their wheels, and use a lot of resources to get the exact verbiage right, when they could be spending that time doing things that would actually support Native folks.” In our conversation, they describe the myriad of ways their organization is “helping Native people and nations thrive on their own terms,”1 supporting key initiatives in Tribal governance and leadership development, as well as engaging non-Indigenous allies to act for justice beyond performative statements.


Untying Knots, co-hosted by Nikhil Raghuveera and Erica Licht, explores how people and organizations are untying knots of systemic oppression and working towards a more equitable future. Each episode features special guests and a focus on thematic areas across society. 

This podcast is published by the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project in collaboration with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center.

Beauty Flow by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5025-beauty-flow
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

About the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project

The Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project believes in working at the intersection of community, academia, and policy to address intellectual and practical questions as they relate to antiracism policy, practice, and institutional change. In order to create and sustain change, the goal of this project is to promote antiracism as a core value for organizations by critically evaluating structures and policies within institutions. The project aims to analytically examine the current field of antiracism with a lens on research and innovation, policy, dialogue, and community involvement.

Our vision is to be a leader in institutional antiracism research, policy, and advocacy, and propose structural change in institutions and media centered on antiracism work in the public, private, non-profit sectors and digital space. This work will focus on researching existing organizations that conduct antiracism training and development while analyzing their effectiveness and promoting best practices in the field. Additionally, we will study the implementation of antiracism work among institutions that self-identify as antiracist and promote accountability structures in order for them to achieve their goals.

About the Ash Center 

The Ash Center is a research center and think tank at Harvard Kennedy School focused on democracy, government innovation, and Asia public policy. AshCast, the Center's podcast series, is a collection of conversations, including events and Q&As with experts, from around the Center on pressing issues, forward-looking solutions, and more. 

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