Elon University sits on land that has a rich and storied history stretching back to American Indian tribes that became the first stewards of this area of central North Carolina. The roots of these people who were the first to call this land home and their long-standing and meaningful connection to this area are still visible today and essential to acknowledge.

Elon University strives to honor the legacy of the Siouan-speaking American Indian tribes who first lived in this area and the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation (OBSN), which became the most prevalent by 1650. Members of the OBSN continue to live in this area today and carry forward their ancestors’ history, traditions, and love for this land.

Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation Land Acknowledgement

We would like to acknowledge that we are on the land of the Eno, Tutelo, Saponi,
Occaneechi, and Shakori Native people.

We are gathered today on land that was traditionally part of the territory of the Saponi people,
in the Piedmont of what is now the state of North Carolina. This area is not far from the “Great
Trading Path”, used by both the native people of this area and non-native peoples during the
early years of contact. The Saponi people, whose descendants include the Occaneechi Band of
the Saponi Nation Indian Tribe still thrive and live in this region, officially recognized by the
state government of North Carolina.

We pay respect to their elders past and present. The Occaneechi People (The Ye’sah), ask that
you will keep these thoughts in mind, while here on their ancestral lands and treat it with the
respect, love, and care that their Ancestors did, and as the Occaneechi Saponi people do so

The Occaneechi Tribe Land Acknowledgement, created by the OBSN Tribal Council, should be used to recognize the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. Please use this land acknowledgement at your meetings and events, etc. to give respect to the indigenous people, their culture in the present, past and future.

For more information on Land Acknowledgements, and why they matter, visit Elon’s Division of Inclusive Excellence website.