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Native American Studies: Land Acknowledgment

Land Acknowledgement

We would like to acknowledge that the University of Illinois at Chicago resides on the traditional Territories of the Three Fire Peoples - the Ojibwe, Odawa and Bodewadmi, purchased after two-and-a-half years of open warfare, decades of violent encroachment, and the defeat of a pan-Indian movement to keep settlers out of the Great Lakes region at the Treaty of Chicago in 1821, receiving their final payment before moving westward in 1835. The area was also a site of trade, gathering, and healing for more than a dozen other Native tribes.

The state of Illinois is currently home to more than 75,000 tribal members and the Chicagoland area is currently home to one of the largest and most diverse urban Native communities in the U.S. Illinois is also the territory of Ho-Chunk, Miami, Inoka, Menominee, Sac, Fox, and their descendants.

By making a land acknowledgment, we recognize that Indigenous peoples are the traditional stewards of the land that we now occupy, living here long before Chicago was a city and still thriving here today. As we work, live and play on these territories we must ask what we can do to right the historic wrongs of colonization and state violence, and support Indigenous communities' struggles for self-determination and sovereignty.