It is important to acknowledge that the lands we all occupy today are Indigenous lands. Napa Valley College and the surrounding Napa Valley sit on the unceded traditional, ancestral, and contemporary homelands of the Miwok, Patwin (comprised of three federally recognized tribes: the Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community, the Kletsel Dehe Band of Wintun Indians, and the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation), and Wappo (including the Mishewal Wappo also known as the Onatsátis) peoples. These lands were taken via genocide and forced removal.
We recognize the past and contemporary violations of sovereignty, territory, and water perpetrated by invaders that have impacted the original inhabitants of this land who resided here for over 10,000 years and are still here. Before this land was colonized and farmed like we see it today, it was carefully tended by the Indigenous people, the first stewards of the land.
The glorious sun that shone on the Miwok, Patwin, and Wappo peoples before settler colonization and mass genocide still shines in Napa. The beautiful mountains that were places for celebration, community, and prayer for the Miwok, Patwin, and Wappo beckon to us today. The magnificent trees that gave shade, food and shelter still stand tall across the county. The Miwok, Patwin, and Wappo who were here stewarding the land, raising their families, and loving friends and community are still here. Elders are sharing their wisdom, knowledge, spiritual and cultural guidance with younger generations.
As part of Napa Valley College’s mission of preparing students for evolving roles in a diverse, dynamic, and interdependent world, and in accordance with the College’s values of honesty, integrity, inclusivity, and respect for others, we make this acknowledgement.
We also affirm that this acknowledgement is insufficient. It does not undo the harm that has been, and continues to be, perpetrated against Indigenous people, the land, and water. May we hold steady in our commitment to be in solidarity and in action to seek equity and justice with the Miwok, Patwin, and Wappo peoples.