To the university community,

As we observe Indigenous Peoples Day during our Sesquicentennial celebration, it is an important opportunity to reflect on Virginia Tech’s founding as a land-grant university 150 years ago.

Our existence was made possible by the confiscation of land and displacement of indigenous peoples across the United States, including the Tutelo/Monacan people who are the historical stewards of the land on which we work and live in Blacksburg.

Indigenous Peoples Day recognizes their enduring ties to the land and the natural resources that support our endeavors, and honors the legacy of traditional peoples, past and present, across our nation. It also is an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the contributions of Native American and Indigenous people to Virginia Tech.

Please take this opportunity to participate in today's observance, and explore the history of the land that supports our university’s mission and vision during American Indian and Indigenous Heritage month that begins on Oct. 15.

We also encourage you to visit our American Indian and Indigenous Community Center and learn more about this important resource for the university, and the many indigenous faculty, staff, and students at Virginia Tech.

As we thoughtfully consider our history, we can also elevate conversations about racial justice and strengthen our commitment to InclusiveVT — our institutional and individual commitment to Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence.

Tim Sands,

Menah Pratt-Clarke,
Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion, and Strategic Affairs

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