Library adopts land acknowledgement in consultation with the Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui Nations

Pima County Public Library has issued a formal statement acknowledging the Native peoples on whose lands the Library operates:

The Pima County Public Library (PCPL) acknowledges the sovereignty of Native Nations and acknowledges the twenty-two federally recognized Indigenous tribes of the state of Arizona and those who inhabit Pima County. We honor the vast and often unrecognized contributions and sacrifices of Indigenous people and are conscious of the ongoing experience of inequality and political invisibility. In partnership with Native Nations, PCPL advocates for full access to its education, information and recreational resources.

In a process that took about 10 months, members of the Library's Many Nations Team consulted with the Tohono O'odham Cultural Preservation Committee and the Pascua Yaqui Department of Language and Culture to draft an acknowledgement that was then presented to and approved by the Tribal Councils. 

Maria M. Esparza, Joyner-Green Valley Library, played an integral role throughout the process. Maria says, "As a Yaqui member of the Many Nations Team, born on this land that is now Arizona, I and the Many Nations members and employees of Pima County want to acknowledge our history; our people's and ancestors who came before us."

She continues, "Our motivation is to ensure our Native patrons feel seen and honored by us and that we recognize and appreciate the opportunity to provide our services on their ancestral lands. Land acknowledgements are a first step.  These are the plans to uplift Native patrons that we are putting into action for Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui Nations."