Posted on April 18, 2024

Lafayette Officially Adopts Land Acknowledgement Statement

Max Darrow, CBS San Francisco, April 9, 2024

It’s becoming more of a common concept to see land acknowledgment statements adopted at universities, schools, and public buildings, but one East Bay city is taking it a step further.

Lafayette officially adopted a land acknowledgment statement, to recognize the Bay Miwok and Ohlone people who were here first.

“Any land acknowledgment is great,” said Bella Stratford, a Lafayette resident of Cherokee heritage. “It just brings a feeling of pride that we’re even here reading a land acknowledgment. I just feel so grateful that our city is doing this.”

Stratford was there as Lafayette city leaders unveiled not just one, but two gestures of respect to honor the indigenous heritage and rich history of the land long before Lafayette existed.

First, a utility box wrap at the corner of Mt. Diablo Blvd. and Lafayette Circle, featuring an illustration of Saklan women and the city’s land acknowledgment statement.

“A land acknowledgment statement is basically recognizing where we are and who the land originally belonged to,” Stratford said.

Second, they unveiled two new street signs on Mt. Diablo Blvd., that now also include the word, “Tuyshtak.”


Although Stratford’s heritage is that of a different indigenous group than the ones recognized in Lafayette, she feels empowered by and grateful for the gesture, from a city she’s proud to call home.

“To like step outside of my doorstep and see native representation is really incredible. It’s a huge step towards inclusivity and just making our city more diverse,” she said. “I’m just so proud to say I’m a Lafayette member.”