During the introduction of the May 5 John P. McGovern Lecture, the MLA ’22 cochairs shared information about the traditional indigenous inhabitants on the land of New Orleans, LA:
Before we begin today’s discussion, we would like to acknowledge that the lands we are meeting on are also the past, present, and future homes to a number of Indigenous peoples, including (but not limited to) the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana, the United Houma Nation, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of the Grand Caillou/Dulac Band, and the Isle de Jean Charles Band. Also the Bayogoulas and Choctaws used this area as an important trade location. We honor their elders, past and present, as well as future generations.
We acknowledge that truth is critical to supporting ongoing mutual respect and connection. A land acknowledgment is a recognition of the truth that most of us living in what is now called the United States of America live here as guests. As information professionals, we must commit to learning from and with the Indigenous communities among whom we live. In addition, in our role as health information professionals, we acknowledge that Indigenous people today may face a lack of access to quality healthcare services, representation in health sciences research, and have been harmed and continue to be harmed by health systems.
We endeavor to raise awareness of these issues when supporting health professionals or patients. We seek meaningful partnership with the Indigenous peoples of our communities to ensure they are the ones who determine what is the best health and well-being for current and future generations.
If you are interested in supporting the Indigenous cultures of New Orleans, please consider contributing to https://unitedhoumanation.org/donate/. Additionally, the American Indian library Association which is focused on improving information and library services for American Indians.