Office of Institutional Diversity & Equity > Land Acknowledgement
At DePaul University, we acknowledge that we live and work on traditional Native lands that are home to well over one hundred different tribal nations. We extend our respect to all of them, including the Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Odawa nations, who signed the Treaty of Chicago in 1821 and 1833. We also recognize the Ho-Chunk, Myaamia, Menominee, Illinois Confederacy, and Peoria people who also maintained relationships with this land.
We acknowledge that these sacred homelands were ruptured by the European invasion of the Americas. In 1493, Pope Alexander VI promulgated the Doctrine of Discovery, which seized Native lands and resources with impunity. This doctrine has been used by countries throughout the Americas, including the U.S., to legitimize colonial policies of displacement and genocide toward Native peoples and to justify colonial legacies of white superiority and global capitalism.
We appreciate that today Chicago is home to the sixth-largest urban Native population in the United States. We further recognize and support the enduring presence of Native peoples among our faculty, staff, and student body. And in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul, we reaffirm our commitment, both as an institution and as individuals, to help make our community and our society a more equitable, welcoming, and just place for all.
"To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honoring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long-standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgments do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol."
Reference: Laurier Students' Public Interest Research Group
"Acknowledging the land alone is not enough; it is a starting point. To further show your support to Indigenous people, consider donating your time and/or money to Indigenous organizations, support grassroots change movements and campaigns led by Indigenous people, and/or learn about your options to return land to the Indigenous people."
Reference: Native Governance Center
Land acknowledgments can be read before university-wide meetings, events, trainings, and large public gatherings in our community.
We recognize the land we occupy is native land. We had a part in the history of stolen land, we recognize the native people who are part of our community, and we work toward a better future.
· The person who gives the acknowledgment should be the event or meeting's host.
· Whenever you give a presentation or hold a meeting, whether or not Indigenous people are in attendance, provide a formal thank you to the host country.
· If you don't know the name of the tribe whose territory or treaty land the structure is on, inquire and research.
· If you need assistance with the pronunciation, seek assistance, research, and look for recordings on Native Nations pronunciations.
A land acknowledgment has purpose. It is a way to incorporate mindfulness into whatever meeting you are attending. It should be rooted in the dignity of native people whose land you are standing upon.
Ho-Chunk is pronounced: ho·chunk. To listen, click here: pronunciation of Ho-Chunk
Myammia ia pronounced: mee·ah·mee·ah. To listen, click here: pronunciation of Myaamia
Menominee is pronounced: muh·naa·muh·nee. To listen, click here: pronunciation of Menominee
Midwest Soarring Foundation
American Indian Center of Chicago
Chicago American Indian Community Collaborative
American Indian Association of Illinois
The Doctrine of Discovery
Simon Pokagon's Protest Booklet at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair
The Treaty of Chicago