Land Acknowledgement

The Land Acknowledgement was first read on Indigenous Peoples Day in 2019 at a celebration of the new Serpent Twin Mound (Pokto Činto) at Schiller Woods. Indigenous artist Santiago X created the mound as part of the Northwest Portage Walking Museum.

A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement used in official materials or read at the beginning of events and celebrations. The Forest Preserves of Cook County’s Land Acknowledgement recognizes the past relationship that local Native American tribes shared with the land and the ongoing relationship that the thousands of Native Americans that live here share with the land today.

Native Americans continue to live and practice their heritage and traditions in the Chicago region, including through stewardship of the land. Chicago is home to the country’s third-largest urban Native American community, and it is the responsibility of the Forest Preserves of Cook County to engage this community—celebrating its past and supporting its future.

This Land Acknowledgement statement can be read by anyone at the beginning of a Forest Preserves event or gathering. Most often, a Forest Preserves staff member or guest host will read the Land Acknowledgement. Example events where the Land Acknowledgement can be read:

  • Public events that include a public speaker(s)
  • Public ribbon cuttings or similar events
  • Forest Preserves employee gatherings and retreats
  • Volunteer events and celebrations

This land acknowledgement is a living document—we will continue to develop and revise it through conversations with local Native American communities.


Land Acknowledgement Statement

The Forest Preserves of Cook County acknowledges that we are on the ancestral homelands of the Council of Three Fires—the Ojibwa, Ottawa and Potawatomi tribes—and a place of trade with many other tribes, including the Ho-Chunk, Miami, Menominee, Sauk and Meskwaki.

As a land management agency, we acknowledge that we have played a role in shaping the histories of local Native Americans by acquiring this land. We must also recognize, share and celebrate the history of local Native Americans and their immemorial ties to this land.

We commit ourselves to developing deeper partnerships that advocate for the progress, dignity and humanity of the many diverse Native Americans who still live and practice their heritage and traditions on this land today.