Events / The Importance of Indigenous Land Acknowledgements and What Comes Next

The Importance of Indigenous Land Acknowledgements and What Comes Next

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Zoom (Virtual)

Land acknowledgements honor a place’s Indigenous people – past and present – and recognize the history that brought us to where we are today. The practice of incorporating land acknowledgements into presentations and programs has become increasingly popular and generated debate about their effectiveness.

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in partnership with the Department of Neuroscience are hosting Dr. Pamela Begay, Ph.D., the Director of the Buder Center of Indigenous Studies  and Eric Pinto, MSW Buder Center Community Projects Coordinator at Washington University to share the purpose and importance of land acknowledgments and considerations for incorporating the practice with integrity. The session will include discussion about what individuals and groups can do beyond land acknowledgment to ensure the effectiveness of the practice and deepen commitment to inclusion for Indigenous people in our community.

Pamela L. Begay’s work focuses on American Indian tribes, and her research interests include cultural identity and issues surrounding Native women. Her long-term goal is to teach and mentor the next generation of social workers and maintain her private clinical practice.

Since joining the Brown School in 2022, Begay chairs the American Indian/Alaska Native Concentration and serves as a faculty associate for the Buder Center for American Indian Studies. She has taught undergraduate and graduate-level social work courses and maintains a private practice focusing on treating trauma while infusing psychodynamic therapy.

She is the senior editor for the Journal of Indigenous Research and an editorial board member of the Clinical Social Work Journal.


Eric Pinto (Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Zuni), MSW, earned his BS in Health Management from Southeast Missouri State University in 2010 and is a 2020 Buder Scholar alumnus from the Brown School with a concentration in American Indian/Alaskan Native. Prior to receiving his MSW, Eric was a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist for nine years at two Gold’s Gym locations in the St. Louis area. During his time at the Brown School, he gained experience in program development, assessment, and supporting the St. Louis Zoo in developing and sustaining long-term relationships with tribal communities. After graduating in the summer of 2020, Eric began working for the Buder Center as Project Coordinator where he oversaw development and production of the Digital Indigenous Storytelling Project. Currently, Eric is the Coordinator of Community Projects where he provides knowledge, opportunities, connection and support to the local Indigenous community, the larger St. Louis community, and the Buder Scholars.

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The Importance of Indigenous Land Acknowledgements and What Comes Next
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