ACPA25 Land Acknowledgement

ACPA–College Student Educators International acknowledges that our ACPA24 Convention is taking place on the traditional unceded homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations and the Illinois Confederacy: The Peoria and Kaskaskia Nations. Many other tribes, such as the Myaamia, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, and Sac and Fox, also called this area home. The region has long been a center for Indigenous people to gather, trade, and maintain kinship ties. Today, one of the largest urban American Indian communities in the United States resides in Chicago. Members of this community continue to contribute to the life of this city and to celebrate their heritage, practice traditions, and care for the land and waterways. We acknowledge that we are on occupied land that was forcibly taken and we affirm that while we cannot change history, we can work for justice.

Beyond acknowledging the land and in recognition of modern and historical settler colonialism, including that perpetuated by North American institutions of higher education, ACPA actively commits to supporting Higher Education in decolonizing their practice and scholarship through our mission, values, and the Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice and Decolonization.

What is a Land Acknowledgement?

A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.

Why do we recognize the land?

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 acknowledgements 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.

For more information on the process of creating a Land Acknowledgement, please see the resources below:

  • A Guide to Indigenous Land Acknowledgement (via Native Governance Center): A suggested process and tips for creating an intentional statement.
  • Native Land Digital: A worldwide map of Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages across the world.
  • Practice the pronunciations of Native, Indigenous, and Tribal Nations. There are many resources online to assist with this and often audio clips or videos with examples.