Updated: Jan 19, 2022
At the November 2021 Executive Committee meeting, the APA-IL Board of Directors voted to accept the APA-IL's Land Acknowledgement. Thanks to the APA-IL DEI Committee and especially Amanda Madrigal, Jake Seid, AICP, Curt Winkle, and Paula Freeze for researching and drafting the acknowledgement. Stay tuned for more information on how you can use this Land Acknowledgement going forward.
Why is a land acknowledgement important?
Northwestern University provides a good explanation: "It is important to understand the longstanding 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.”
APA-IL Land Acknowledgement
A land acknowledgement is a statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous peoples as traditional guardians of lands and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous peoples and their traditional territories. We would like to acknowledge and recognize that the members of the Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-IL) live and work on the land of multiple native nations, which includes the ancestral lands of the Peoria, Kaskaskia, Piankashaw, Wea, Miami, Mascoutin, Odawa, Sauk, Mesquaki, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Chickasaw Nations.
Planners work on land use issues every day, and these lands were the traditional birthright of Indigenous peoples who were forcibly removed and who have faced centuries of struggle for survival and identity in the wake of dispossession. We acknowledge this land and honor the legacy, experience, and existence of these Indigenous peoples.
While it is important to craft a land acknowledgement statement, our actions will speak louder than our words. We have a responsibility to reach out to these Indigenous peoples and work together as we move forward as a diverse and inclusive planning organization. The state of Illinois is currently home to more than 75,000 tribal members, including many urban Indigenous peoples, who are often left out of the planning process. We encourage planners to find concrete ways to use their time to support the needs and processes of Indigenous communities now and in the future. We must find ways to right historical wrongs and support Indigenous communities' struggles for self-determination.
Click here for audio recordings of these pronunciations.