William Morris Society in the United States Land Acknowledgement

Jun 9, 2021

WMS-US Land Acknowledgement banner. Text 'Land Acknowledgement' and WMS-US logo over background of Morris wallpaper 'Jasmine.'

William Morris was deeply concerned with the loss of traditional crafts, ways of life, and landscapes during his lifetime in his native land, England. While his relationship with British colonialism was complicated, he also voiced objections to the ways imperialist expansion and global capitalism damaged the independence, traditions, and crafts of Indigenous peoples, particularly in India.

As an organization based in the United States of America, we acknowledge that the loss of traditional crafts, ways of life, and landscapes occurred here as the direct result of European settler colonialists’ acts of ethnic cleansing, forced removal, and cultural genocide. We honor Indigenous peoples’ historic and continued resistance to these acts, and their deep, enduring, and evolving traditions of art, craft, literature, and land management.

As a diffuse organization, we do not operate in a single location. Therefore, we acknowledge that we exist on Native land across the continent. Our business address in Washington, DC is located on the traditional lands of the Anacostans (also documented as the Nacotchtank) and the Piscataway. Our board members live and work in places including the traditional lands of the Saura, Tutelo, and Keyauwee; the Duwamish; the Puyallup; the Onondowaga (the Seneca), one of the six nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy; and the Chochenyo speaking Ohlone people, the successors of the historic and sovereign Verona Band of Alameda County.

This statement is intended as a first, but not last, step towards engagement with the communities and traditions of the Native lands we inhabit.


Learn more about the practice of land acknowledgement:

To find out more about the native lands in your area and across the globe, the Native-Land.ca map is a great starting point.