San Diego City College rests on unceded land that has been the ancestral home of the Kumeyaay.  San Diego City College’s Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement and related actions that acknowledges the significance of Indigenous Peoples to the College and surrounding communities. San Diego City College’s Land Acknowledgement is intended to foster greater awareness, understanding, and regard of the history, culture, and internal perspectives of the Kumeyaay Nation.


The Land Acknowledgement represents a call to action for stakeholders within the College to express with humility, our collective appreciation, and gratitude for the Indigenous people who were the original caretakers of the land that the campus rests upon. A central theme associated with San Diego City College’s mission is its ongoing commitment, and contributions to the intellectual, cultural, economic, and social advancement of the communities and individuals it serves.  The creation of an institution-wide land acknowledgement is consistent with the College’s efforts to cultivate relevant community relationships.  


Draft Land Acknowledgement (as of 1/24/22)


San Diego City College acknowledges that we gather on unceded Kumeyaay land.  We value Indigenous knowledge and cultural worldview. We commit to providing transformative educational experiences for all campus members and guests as we examine practices that perpetuate harm against Indigenous, Black, Brown, and other marginalized communities. We pledge to sustain a meaningful and respectful relationship with the Kumeyaay and other Indigenous communities as we honor this beautiful land together.


Recommendations to help guide the San Diego City College in its adoption of a college-wide Land Acknowledgement.


  • Present a Land Acknowledgement Resolution to the college’s leadership and stakeholder groups, including College Council, Academic Senate, Classified Senate, SPAA, and ASG.
  • Establish a college-wide land acknowledgement statement to be read, by an event host or college dignitary, at the beginning of all formal and informal college events.
  • Add the college-wide land acknowledgement statement as a permanent fixture to the college website, social media, and other web-based platforms.
  • Allot dedicated space for visible manifestations of the land acknowledgement via  plaques of commemoration in highly trafficked places across campus
  • Secure permission to include official Kumeyaay logos and icons on college documents (where appropriate).
  • Consistently bring together Indigenous people of the community and all relevant stakeholders for guidance and advice to continue to examine the history and significance of the territory on which the college sits.
    • Develop a series of awareness programs (forums, lecture series, seminars).
    • Pursue opportunities for intellectual exchange and possible resources sharing with Kumeyaay Community College (Dr. Stan Rodriguez)
    • Address relationships with Indigenous People during the keynote speech of Spring Convocation (Dr. Theresa Ambo)
    • Explore topic – Decolonization in Higher Education
  • Encourage all faculty, staff, and students to adopt the land acknowledgement practice and critically examine its significance and impact.


Beyond a Land Acknowledgement.


  • Hire a contract faculty for Native American Studies
    • Efforts underway to establish NAS Program with Chair
    • Synergy with Chicano Studies and Black Studies
    • Forgiving the debt of any Native American student that owes any debt
    • Records suggests that 97 Native Americans carry debt associated with their enrollment in San Diego City College
    • The total amount of debt relief is estimated to be $62,197.
  • Create and fund scholarships for Native American students
  • Establish Indigenous Students Club
  • Cultivate rapport and possible partnership with Kumeyaay Community College
  • Host a culminating event on the college’s Land Acknowledgement Initiative
    • Presentations by Dr. Theresa Ambo and Dr. Stan Rodriguez
    • Encourage all faculty, staff, and students to adopt the land acknowledgement and critically examine its significance and impact.


Draft Resolution to Establish an Official Kumeyaay Land Acknowledgement


Whereas, San Diego City College rests on unceded land that has been the ancestral home of the Kumeyaay, its caretakers for generations; and


Whereas, much of the history of interaction between the Kumeyaay and non-indigenous settlers had been marred by violence, forced labor, forced removal from land, invisibility, and lack of cultural understanding, acknowledgement, and respect; and


Whereas, San Diego City College is an institution of higher education dedicated to evidence-based history and prides itself on community leadership, inclusive education, and social justice; and


Whereas, an accurate and just depiction of the history of the land on which San Diego City College resides must recognize the Kumeyaay’s stewardship and occupation of the land; and


Whereas, San Diego City College believes it is appropriate to develop a land acknowledgement statement, to encourage greater understanding of the Kumeyaay, and to seek further guidance from the Kumeyaay on ways we might foster a collaborative relationship moving forward; and


Resolves that San Diego City College adopt a statement acknowledging the Kumeyaay’s historical residence and stewardship of the land on which San Diego City College resides; and


Resolves that this Kumeyaay Land Acknowledgement be shared widely throughout San Diego City College in forms including, but not limited to, ceremonial introductions at campus events and written statements on college, departmental, or programmatic websites.


For More Information


Robbi L. Ewell, Dean

Information and Learning Technology