Early last academic year the Office of the Dean launched a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion task force comprising students, faculty, and staff. One of the group’s primary directives was to research and craft a land acknowledgment statement that individuals across the school could share at events and in messaging. The task force’s team-created message is as follows.
We are on sacred ground. Northwestern University is on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires—the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa—as well as the Menominee, Miami, and Ho-Chunk nations.
Before it was stolen from them through colonization and forced removal, this land was a site of trade, travel, gathering, and healing for more than a dozen other native tribes. The state of Illinois is still home to over 100,000 tribal members.
In the spirit of healing and making amends for the harm that was done, we acknowledge the native and indigenous peoples who called this land home. And we pledge ourselves as members of the Northwestern School of Communication to turn our statements into action and build better relationships with native and indigenous communities in Evanston, in Chicago, and throughout the region.
In the year ahead, each of our school departments will develop land acknowledgements that connect to their disciplines and will significantly engage with the descendants of the native and indigenous people who occupied this land before the founding of this institution.