The name “Ohio” is an Iroquoian word derived from the Iroquois/Mohawk language. It came from the Seneca name for the Ohio River, Ohiyo, which means “it is beautiful.” What is now known as the state of Ohio in the United States has been populated by different indigenous people for centuries, including the Wyandotte, Mingo, Shawnee, Delaware, Miami, Huron, Ojibwe, Potawatomi and Odawa.
Prior to European colonization, Ohio was a pivotal geographical location for many Indigenous tribes all across North, Central and South America. What is known as present day Ohio was once the largest geometric earthwork complex in the world. These numerous earthwork sites were utilized for ceremony, astronomical observation, social gathering, trade and worship. A number of these earthworks can still be found within Ohio and the city of Columbus today.
Hosting the annual convention in a city named for Christopher Columbus, a colonizer that was responsible for tremendous amounts of pain and genocide of the Native and Indigenous people of the land, is a difficult reality that we must address and contend with. It is important that we understand the pain, discomfort, and dissonance that many of our members as well as the Native and Indigenous people who live and exist in Columbus Ohio every day will experience by attending convention. Please keep this at the forefront of your hearts and minds as you enter place and space.