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Land Acknowledgement Statement

A map showing the settlement of Chicago in 1812.
photo: Chicago Tribune

As future ancestors, we’re writing from the so-called Chicagoland area of Illinois, a conundrum wrapped in a contradiction—both a crime scene and a confirmation. These lands were stewarded for millennia by Indigenous peoples and nations and lineages, including the Potawatomi, the Ojibwe, and the Odawa, as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. They raised their children here, created their communities, made sense and meaning for one another, experienced the flowing and the passing of their time together, planned for the future, and buried their dead here. We acknowledge them and thank them all. We note that following the settler violence culminating in the Blackhawk War of 1832, Indigenous peoples were murdered or forcibly removed from these lands. Over a century later, under a different set of oppressive policies, many were once again coerced to migrate, this time back to the urban centers where their ancestors had earlier been robbed and forcibly removed. Today Chicago has the third largest urban Native population in the US, with more than 65,000 Native Americans in the greater metropolitan area.

Chicago’s name, derived from the Algonquian language, means “river whose shores are lined with wild leeks,” and it’s true: Chicago is a confluence of water, wildness, peoples, hopes and aspirations, a place of outsized and crazy complexity, built up by the hands of immigrant workers and African-ancestored people escaping terror and the after-life of slavery during the Great Migration. Justice seekers, freedom fighters, teachers and cultural workers, artists and creators, organizers and activists—all of us work to remember and honor a history of stolen land and resources, a history of genocide and exploitation, and we also  pledge to keep our eyes and our hearts open in our shared struggle for peace and repair, justice and joy, balance and love.

Chicago is where we reside and work, where we rise up filled with gratitude and awe on each new morning. This is where we recommit to projects of repair and revolution in this bruised and battered world. Chicago is where we begin again.

Support Independent Bookstores!

What we’re listening to…

AirGo is a weekly podcast and movement media hub in Chicago that reshapes the culture of the city and beyond for the more liberatory and creative. Through longform conversations with movement workers, artists, rappers, poets, musicians, organizers, and changemakers, AirGo puts Chicago’s reimaginers in conversation and creates a living dialogue-based archive of our creative communities and social movements.

Conversations with community organizers, activists, and cultural workers on the books that have shaped their theories of change. Think Spark notes in podcast form!

An ongoing call to action for movement work and mutual aid efforts around the country. Kelly Hayes connects with activists, journalists and others on the front lines to break down what’s happening in various struggles and what listeners can do to help.

In 1970, Bernardine Dohrn declared war on the United States. Now, her son Zayd tells the story of how she was radicalized, and became the most wanted woman in America.

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