Acknowledge the Land

By Pipo Bui | |

Land Acknowledgement is a vital first step in re-opening our businesses, schools and communities.

Almost anywhere you go in America, indigenous people were there first. Acknowledging their presence, and understanding the history of each place is fundamental.

In Seattle

Around Seattle, some tribes ceded use of their land through treaty agreements. But the US failed to keep many of its promises to Chief Seattle and other Coast Salish tribal leaders. This is something that grassroots groups have tried to remedy with actions like contributing to building the Duwamish Longhouse center, enhancing salmon habitat, renaming parks, and establishing voluntary “real-rent” payments by area residents to the tribe.

At Seattle Coffee Works

Seattle Coffee Works, which bears the name of our City and Chief Seattle, has five locations on Seattle land. You'll see a Land Acknowledgement in our cafes, or you can find many examples online.

We gather here on the land of the Duwamish people, past and present.

Because we are committed to Equity in our business practices and believe that words should be backed up with actions, we started making realrentduwamish rent payments in 2019.

Real Rent - A Basic Cost of Doing Business

As our economy reopens, we have an opportunity to re-examine how businesses and individuals contribute to our communities and the land where we live and prosper.

Big businesses whose stock prices are soaring could make real-rent payments right now in recognition of the land they occupy, even if there are only servers and empty cubicles in the buildings at the moment.

Small businesses, while struggling to make our conventional lease rent payments, can set an intention by incorporating incremental real-rent payments into our re-opening business plans. Individuals too can contribute to real-rent, and ask their landlords to consider this as well.

Right now, when we appreciate the value of eviction prevention during covid-19, it is the perfect time to re-calculate how and to whom we pay "rent".

Let’s make real-rent part of good business practice.