Associated Student Inc. passed Senate Resolution #2020-14 in support of acknowledging and honoring Puvungna, with a 13-0-2 vote on its first reading at Wednesday’s meeting.
The resolution was co-authored by former ASI Sen. Dale Lendrum and Vice President Leen Almahdi.
It would make it so that before every ASI meeting the Senate would read a statement acknowledging and honoring the land of the indigenous people that Long Beach State and much of Long Beach is built on.
They would also read it before the ASI president convocation and any other ASI events.
“This is just recognizing the fact that we are on the land, acknowledging that blessing and so forth, but there’s other work that still needs to be done to ensure that the land itself is protected,” Lendrum said.
Lendrum expressed concern about the intentions from the school to potentially build temporary parking on the land.
“We know that parking is this scarce resource on campus and that land just looks really delicious to a whole lot of folks,” Lendrum said. “To a degree I understand that, but if we can formulate alternatives for parking rather than using the land I think we should do that.”
Lendrum said that he has been actively researching ways to dedicate revenue from the school’s parking lot solar farms to help fund an additional parking structure in order to prevent one being built on the land.
The beauty of the resolution is ASI, Lendrum said, would read the acknowledgement before every meeting, so it’s kept at the forefront of their thought.
“In my opinion, spiritual resting places and cultural sites are not called ‘underdeveloped land.’ They are historical sites that a price tag can never be put on,” Lendrum said.
The university is currently working on creating a standardized land acknowledgement statement.
“It’s a good step in the right direction to make sure that, you know, after you’re gone and I’m gone from this campus that this is something that continues to happen,” Almahdi said. “I think it’s important for us to pass this resolution as ASI to again [sic] institutionalize the practice for years to come, so it’s not something that’s forgotten in the future.”
Sen. Sumaiyah Hossain said that ASI has had constituents and representatives from the Native American community come to meetings expressing their concern with the way their land has been treated.
“I think considering we’re CSULB and we’re always talking about our diversity, we need to also respect everything that comes with that,” Hossain said.
This article formerly identified Dale Lendrum as the former Sen. to the College of Business in the photo caption when he was the former Sen. for the College of Education. The correction was made March 5 at 12:53 p.m.