The Durham Salt Cave & Living Arts Collective respectfully acknowledge that the land we are on today is the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Eno, Shakori, Sissipahaw, and Occaneechi peoples, other people of Siouan descent and their descendants, and the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation. Although they lived in separate villages and developed distinct identities, they spoke a common Tutelo-Saponi language. In this language, their descendants call them Yésah, which means “the people.” This land was home to these communities for thousands of years before the arrival of people from other continents. We make this acknowledgment as part of our education; our commitment to inclusion of all in our community; and our recognition and respect for the history of this land for the present, past, and future. We honor the legacy of peace held by these nations and their elders and ancestors as we continue to learn from these sacred lands, all beings and peoples.
Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation
We acknowledge the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, both their land and the very present existence of their people.
Mission statement from the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation’s website:
The Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation is continuously committed to the preservation, protection and promotion of our history, culture and traditions; while providing social, economic and educational resources, opportunities and services that will contribute to the well being of the tribal community.
“This land does not belong to man; we belong to the land. The Occaneechi People (The Ye’sah), ask that you will keep these thoughts in mind, while here in place, and treat it with the respect, love, and care that our Ancestors did, and as we do so today. Our hope is, that we all exist and acknowledge this sacred land together in a good way!”
Link to donate to the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation.
7 Directions of Service
7 Directions of Service is a local and indigenous non profit organization that is leading the way on protecting what is sacred.
7 Directions of Service was founded by Indigenous activists Crystal Cavalier-Keck and Jason Crazy Bear Keck on Crystal’s ancestral Occaneechi-Saponi lands, the rural Piedmont region of North Carolina. 7 Directions began as a culture class and youth program, and has grown into a regional grassroots mobilization platform. Everything changed when Crystal and Jason learned that a pipeline was slated to go through their backyard and they began dedicating their lives to resisting, building coalitions and creating campaigns to support the working-class and farming families located along the proposed route. Today, the pipeline is on its last breath.
The approach of 7 Directions is intersectional and life-honoring. They recognize that the harms faced under the settler state are not new, and consider their work as part of a legacy of grassroots leaders who have risen up to end state violence against their communities. Every campaign, community project and education program is guided by the 7 Directions teaching, which proclaims the sanctity and vitality of each direction: children, women, men, elders, the earth, the sky (which is also symbolic of culture and the mind) and finally, the direction within.
The LandBack movement is becoming increasingly central to the vision of 7 Directions, you can support this vision of rematriation by donating to the “Remembering Forward” Landback Fund:
“Let us reach beyond land acknowledgements, and move towards LandBack.
No one is coming to save us, it is all on us. At 7 Directions of Service, we use the phrase “Remembering Forward” as our roadmap. The solutions we seek for our communities as we transition toward healthy, regenerative economies already exist within the foundation of Indigenous cultures. For these practices to take root again, we need to put LandBack into Indigenous hands.”