We would like to begin today by recognizing and acknowledging that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is on the lands of the Peoria, Kaskaskia, Piankashaw, Wea, Miami, Mascoutin, Odawa, Sauk, Mesquaki, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Chickasaw Nations. These lands were the traditional territory of these Native Nations prior to their forced removal; these lands continue to carry the stories of these Nations and their struggles for survival and identity.
As a land-grant institution, the University of Illinois has a particular responsibility to acknowledge the peoples of these lands, as well as the histories of dispossession that have allowed for the growth of this institution for the past 150 years. We are also obligated to reflect on and actively address these histories and the role that this university has played in shaping them. This acknowledgement and the centering of Native peoples is a start as we move forward for the next 150 years.
This symposium brings together scholars from Universities across the United States, and we must acknowledge that each of these institutions exists on the past, present, and future homelands of Native peoples. For a list of land acknowledgements for each of the represented institutions, please visit the links in the chat. Although this year’s symposium is being hosted virtually, we must not forget that even in digital spaces, we benefit from the legacies and realities of imperialism. Zoom headquarters are housed on the lands of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe. Visit muwekma.org for more information.
Links to the represented universities’ respective land acknowledgments:
Oklahoma State University (Stillwater History Museum)
The University of Kentucky (Center for Health Equity Transformation)