We acknowledge that we are on the homelands of the Peoria, Kaskaskia, Piankashaw, Wea, Miami, Mascoutin, Odawa, Sauk, Mesquaki, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Chickasaw Nations. We honor these ancestral grounds as the traditional territory of these Native Nations prior to their forced removal. As members of a land-grant institution, we are obligated to know the histories of dispossession that have allowed the University of Illinois to grow. We must acknowledge and reflect on colonialism as an active crisis and address the role that this university has played in it. The centering of Native peoples is merely a start in committing to undoing the erasure of Native voices, histories, and futures. We have a responsibility to decolonize this institution and our communities, to raise consciousness about indigenous sovereignty, and to act in ways that bring about justice.
Image courtesy of Waab-Shki-Makoons (Clayton Samuel King), a multimedia artist living in Ontario, Canada. He is of Bodewadmi (Potawatomi) Anishinabek and Chi Mookomaan descent and is a member of Beausoleil First Nation, otherwise known as Chimnissing. Nookmis and the Water Beings is acrylic on canvas.