The Worship Team has been discussing and working on a land acknowledgement for several months now.  In order to prepare the way for a land acknowledgement to be spoken at the beginning of our Sunday services we have created this informational flyer.  Printed copies of our flyer are also available on the Greeters’ table.



First Unitarian Church of Honolulu

What is it?

For non-Indigenous communities, land acknowledgment is a powerful way of showing respect and honoring the Indigenous Peoples of the land on which we work and live. Acknowledgment is a simple way of resisting the erasure of Indigenous histories and working towards honoring and inviting the truth.

It also recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.

When did it start?

While land acknowledgements date back to the 1970s, they became widespread in Canada beginning in 2015 after release of their Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report.  Land acknowledgments are now a standard part of most public gatherings in Canada and are becoming more commonplace in the United States. 

How has it been received?

In general, land acknowledgements are appreciated by Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike.  However, there has been some backlash to the movement by those who feel that these are empty words and do little to right the many wrongs perpetrated toward Indigenous Peoples over generations.

Why do this here and now?

By offering a land acknowledgement when we gather in this place we remind ourselves of the history of this ‘āina and recommit ourselves to deepening our understanding of the true history and culture of the Hawaiian people.  It is both a gesture of respect and a call to action.


Our Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that we gather on ‘āina that is the traditional and ancestral homeland to the Hawaiian people. We recognize that her majesty, Queen Lili’uokalani yielded the Hawaiian Kingdom and these territories under duress and protest to the United States to avoid the bloodshed of her people.  We honor our shared responsibility to this land and these waters, we commit to learning from Hawaiian wisdom, and we strive to repair and deepen our relationships as neighbors and friends.

First Unitarian Church of Honolulu

Worship Team


We are not the first group at the church to use a land acknowledgement.  The A.D.O.R.E. group has been using one at the beginning of their meetings since late 2019.  Their wording is different than ours, but the intent, we believe is the same.

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