Honoring the Original Inhabitants of The Lackawanna River Valley

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A Note from our President

The University of Scranton officially adopted a Land Acknowledgment Statement to recognize and honor the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Lenape, the Munsee, the Shawnee and the Susquehannocks[1]  in Northeastern Pennsylvania. While some departments, clubs and other groups at the University already include a land acknowledgment as part of their events, the University now has a standard institution-wide statement that can be read at all University-sponsored events. As a strong believer in the importance of history, both the good and the bad, I believe this statement is an important step forward to helping build awareness and opportunities that will enrich all our lives. 

I wish to recognize Dr. Adam Pratt and his research students, Peter Burke and Katia Ramirez for assisting with the development of this statement.  I encourage faculty, staff and students to read the statement at their events. The Land Acknowledgement Statement is posted on the University’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion website and on the Office of Equity and Diversity’s website.

-Fr. Joseph G. Marina, S.J.

Land Acknowledgement Statement

The University of Scranton acknowledges the original inhabitants and nations of this land, the Lenape, the Munsee, the Shawnee and the Susquehannocks*.  May we be ever mindful of their legacy and contributions and commit ourselves to stewarding this land with care and compassion as we navigate our communities towards faith and justice.

A Land Acknowledgment is a formal statement that recognizes and respects the original inhabitants and stewards of lands.  The statement highlights the enduring relationship between the original inhabitants and their territories.  This Acknowledgement is an opportunity for the entire University community to increase their awareness of the history of the land on which the University resides.  We recognize the land as an expression of gratitude and appreciation.

The University official adopted the Land Acknowledgment statement in 2021. It was first used at an announcement of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the project, “Scranton’s Story, Our Nation’s Story”, which is a two-year series of humanities-based lectures, discussions, dialogues, tours, workshops and oral histories explores the aspirational journey to fulfill our national ideals through the lens of Scranton, Pennsylvania, including the under-represented stories of Indigenous experience, Black history, and recent immigrants and refugees.

At The University of Scranton, the Land Acknowledgement Statement will be read aloud at official University events on University property. Faculty, staff and students are also encouraged to read the statement aloud at the start of an event or program.

*Pronunciations:
  • Lenape (lĕn′ə-pē)
  • Munsee (mŭn′sē)
  • Shawnee (shô-nē′)
  • Susquehannocks (sŭs′kwə-hăn′ək)