An acknowledgement of the land is an Indigenous protocol performed on Indigenous lands across the globe. Chicagotlan’s Organizing Committee acknowledges that Chicago sits on the edge of multiple ecosystems, including Swamp, Oak Savanna and Prairie with waterways connecting the Mississippi River and Great Lakes.; and that Chicago is the ancestral homeland to the Anishinaabek; Niswi-mishkodewin (Council of the Three Fires): Ojibwe, Odawa, and the Potawatomi along with dozens of tribes who cultivated and molded the land to sustainably suit their needs since time immemorial. We thank the Anishinaabemowin for providing the names of Chicago and Lake Michigan along with multiple territories, waterways, roads, and parks in and around Chicago. We also acknowledge Chicago and Illinois was and is a site of trade, travel, and healing for Indigenous peoples since time immemorial, and that Indigenous Knowledge Systems and infrastructure continue to be appropriated as the blueprints of our society.
The treaties made with the People of the Three Fires have not been honored, and the destruction and dispossession of land and life of Indigenous peoples continues until this day; and we acknowledge colonialism is an ongoing structure - we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation, to deconstruct the romanticisms of forced removal and prevent further genocide of remaining Indigenous peoples.
We acknowledge Chicago is home to over 75,000 American Indians known as “Urban Indians”, who keep their tribal kinship and cultures spanning from over 150 tribal nations and support the modern Indigenous people of Chicago along with those who view Chicago as their ancestral territory and continue to practice their kinship, culture, harvest their medicines and foods that continue to grow in Chicago. We further acknowledge that we are sitting on top of Indigenous Peoples’ ancestral lands, that which through acts of genocide, deceit, forced removal, dispossession, appropriation of their knowledge systems, and the implementation of a settler colonial structure, formed the foundation of our current society.
Thank you to the Chi-Nations Youth Council (CNYC) for their help with this Land Acknowledgement. Click here to support CNYC.