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Land Acknowledgement Panel & Lenape Materials in the Classroom

Moderator Elisha Chi, Autumn Coard and Meg Martin.

Moderator Elisha Chi (left), Autumn Coard (center) and Meg Martin (right).

On Feb. 21, 2024, Falvey Library hosted two events promoting a dialogue about indigenous representation on campus and in the classroom. The first event, Panel on Land Acknowledgements, was a student-led conversation about the formation of NISA, Native Indigenous Students Association, and the student experience on campus. The discussion was around NISA’s efforts for sustainability, community, and representation by creating a safe, welcoming space for all indigenous students. Madonna Kongal discussed how Villanova University needs to take responsibility and educate students about the Lenni-Lenape people and the indigenous experience. Meg Martin spoke on Land Acknowledgement as a tool to set the tone and act as a marker of accountability for the University. DePaul recommended Villanova University create more opportunities to invite Indigenous speakers and broaden historical intersectionality in teaching. Villanova must take an active role in outreach, recruitment, and development of strong relationships with the Lenni-Lenape people.

Autumn Coard and Meg Martin of NISA with attendees

Autumn Coard and Meg Martin of NISA chat with attendees after the event.

Moderator & Panelists:

Meg Martin (panelist) is a junior communication major with a media production specialization. She is bear clan from the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation in upstate New York , Southern Ontario, and Quebec.  

Modonna Kongal (panelist) is a sophomore political science major, with a minor in communications. She is from the Arawak Tribe of Linden, Guyana. 

Autumn Coard (panelist) is a sophomore communications major, with a peace and justice minor. She is from the Shinnecock Indian Nation on the Eastern end of Long Island. 

Adam DePaul (panelist) is the Chief of Education and Tribal Storykeeper of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania. Additionally, he is a PhD candidate and instructor at Temple and Aracadia University with a primary research area in Cultural and Mythological Studies, and the co-founder and president of NAISAT (Native American and Indigenous Studies at Temple).

Elisha Chi (moderator) is a registered descendant of the Inupiaq of the Bering Straits region and Irish/British Catholics, raised on Duwamish lands in the anti-feminist radical traditionalist Catholic community of Seattle. Currently a PhD candidate working here in the Lenapehoking at the intersection of theology/religious studies, ethics, and Indigenous studies, a Forum for Theological Education Dissertation Fellow, and a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow for 2024/2025, her current project is titled “Stories and Silence: Issues and Methods Supporting the Decolonization of the Catholic Church.” Her work articulates anti-colonial academic methods and pedagogical practices that pursue institutional decolonization and Indigenous land return. 

Modonna Kongol of NISA and Adam DePaul

Modonna Kongol of NISA and Adam DePaul answer questions from the audience.

The panel discussion was co-sponsored by Falvey Library, Falvey‘s DEI Committee, the Center for Peace and Justice Education, the Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest, and NISA, the Native Indigenous Students Association.

In the afternoon, Adam DePaul and Dr. Kimberly Takahata, Assistant Professor in the English Department, provided an informal discussion around opportunities to integrate Native American material into many different disciplines. Attendees discussed with DePaul ways to provide greater access to materials, language to use in assisting with research, and allowing space for students to engage with their own experience to build connections of shared experience in different communities.

Interested in Learning More?

Check out these library resources on Indigenous histories and cultures:


Indigenous Histories and Cultures in North America (Adam Matthew Digital)

Beaudry Allen Headshot

Beaudry Allen is a Preservation & Digital Archivist, Distinctive Collections & Digital Engagement Department, Falvey Library.






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Last Modified: March 13, 2024

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