FARGO — North Dakota State University is one step closer to finalizing a statement to recognize the campus is on land once occupied by Native Americans.

President Dean Bresciani announced Thursday, Nov. 19, that a committee has drafted a land acknowledgment statement that was backed by Fargo’s Native American Commission on Nov. 5. The statement needs final approval from Bresciani.

“A website is under development to provide more context about the statement, its development and how it may be used,” he said in a Thursday update to the campus.

Several NDSU employees had been working on a statement for several months before Bresciani announced earlier this year he would appoint a committee to finish the work. That announcement came along with a proclamation that NDSU would implement measures to improve diversity and inclusion on campus.

The University of North Dakota and the North Dakota State College of Science approved their own land acknowledgment statements this year. They are the only two public higher education schools in North Dakota to do so.

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NDSU’s draft states:

“We collectively acknowledge that we gather at NDSU, a land grant institution, on the traditional lands of the Oceti Sakowin (Dakota, Lakota, Nakoda) and Anishinaabe Peoples in addition to many diverse Indigenous Peoples still connected to these lands. We honor with gratitude Mother Earth and the Indigenous Peoples who have walked with her throughout generations. We will continue to learn how to live in unity with Mother Earth and build strong, mutually beneficial, trusting relationships with Indigenous Peoples of our region.”