At Experience Champaign-Urbana, it is our mission to create a welcoming destination for all. As such, we feel it is critical to recognize the land we all walk upon, and the people we all depend upon, as we strive to create a sense of community.
We respectfully acknowledge that we are 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. We honor them and all Indigenous people who we may have excluded in this acknowledgement due to erasure and historical inaccuracy.
Additionally, we recognize and acknowledge the labor upon which Champaign County, the state of Illinois and our country are built. We remember that our country was built on the labor of enslaved people who were kidnapped and brought to the United States from the African continent and recognize the continued contribution of their descendants. We also acknowledge all immigrant and Indigenous laborers who contributed to the building of the country and continue to serve within our labor force. We recognize that our country is continuously defined, supported and built upon by oppressed communities and histories of dispossession.
In this spirit, we invite all residents and visitors of these lands to commit to learning about and supporting the work of Indigenous communities, to acknowledge labor inequities and the shared responsibility for combatting oppressive systems in our daily work, and to continuously reflect on who we are in relation to the lands we inhabit the history we inherit.
This land and labor acknowledgement is modified from other acknowledgements. We thank the University of Illinois Native American House for guidance on the development of our land acknowledgement, which is modified from the acknowledgements of the University of Illinois Native American House, University of Illinois Humanities Research Institute and Illinois State University. We also thank the California State University Long Beach’s Office of Multicultural Affairs for their labor acknowledgement and all those who developed it, including Dr. Betsy Eudey, Joel Gutierrez and Jeremy Scruggs.
Those who are interested in developing or reading a land acknowledgement are strongly encouraged to review the Native Governance Center’s guide to Indigenous land acknowledgements for best practices and factors to consider. The guide is available here.
Pronunciations (audio available here):
- Peoria (Pea-Or-E-ah)
- Kaskaskia (Kahs-KAHS-kee-ah)
- Peankashaw (Pea-ANK-ah-shah)
- Wea (WAY-ah)
- Miami (My-Am-E)
- Mascoutin (Mah-SCOH-tin)
- Odawa (Oh-DAH-wah)
- Sauk (SAHK)
- Mesquaki (Meh-skw-AH-kee)
- Kickapoo (KICK-a-poo)
- Potawatomi (Pot-tah-WAH-tah-mee)
- Ojibwe (Oh-JIB-way)
- Chickasaw (CHI-kah-saw)
Resources for Learning and Doing More:
- University of Illinois Native American House—Works to cultivate a more nuanced understanding of Indigenous cultures and communities as they exist today
- Native American Chamber of Commerce of Illinois—Provides business education, growth, mentorship and networking specific to Native Americans
- Beyond Buckskin Buy Native List—Select list of Native-owned online businesses
- National Congress of American Indians—The oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of Tribal governments and communities
- Native Governance Center—Native-led nonprofit dedicated to assisting Native nations in strengthening their governance systems and capacity to exercise sovereignty
- American Indian Policy Institute at Arizona State University—Indigenous-led and staffed research institute whose work supports Tribal communities and Indigenous peoples nationwide
- Native American Rights Fund—Fights to protect Native American rights, resources and lifeways through litigation, legal advocacy and legal expertise