Co-Creating a Land Acknowledgment at the San Bernardino County Museum
2022 NACo Achievement Award Winner
San Bernardino County, Calif., CA
Best In Category
About the Program
Category: Arts, Culture and Historic Preservation (Best in Category)
In 2020, the San Bernardino County Museum led a project to create a Land Acknowledgment in collaboration with indigenous tribal governments in order to more effectively and authentically connect the public to the Museumâs mission and cultural spaces. The San Bernardino County Museum, in partnership with two southern California indigenous governments, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and Morongo Band of Mission Indians collaborated to develop a Land Acknowledgment to engage visitors at the museumâs entry with the goals of (1) honoring and acknowledging the native presence on which the museum and its historic sites are sited, (2) creating a safe and welcome entry point for tribal members, and (3) highlighting native voices and language. In this collaboration, the County Museum and tribes conceptualized and created a Land Acknowledgement that celebrates cultural contexts, and includes graphics and audio systems to create a unique way of engaging in a way that has been traditionally silent and untouchable. This collaborative process actively engaged County officials and museum staff, tribal partners, and now museum visitors, to produce an historic, impactful, and intentional cultural experience.