Loyola's Land Acknowledgment Statement
October 7, 2021
As Loyola University Chicago celebrates its 150th Anniversary, we have a deepened awareness of and respect for the people and history that long preceded us on the lands where our campuses now sit. Over the past two years, we have engaged in a communal process of discernment toward action to develop a University-wide Land Acknowledgment. Ahead of Indigenous People’s Day, we are grateful and humbled to share with the community the University’s approved Land Acknowledgement Statement (LAS):
The Loyola University Chicago community acknowledges its location on the ancestral homelands of the Council of the Three Fires (the Ojibwa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi tribes) and a place of trade with other tribes, including the Ho-Chunk, Miami, Menominee, Sauk, and Meskwaki. We recognize that descendants of these and other North American tribes continue to live and work on this land with us. We recognize the tragic legacy of colonization, genocide, and oppression that still impacts Native American lives today. As a Jesuit university, we affirm our commitment to issues of social responsibility and justice. We further recognize our responsibility to understand, teach, and respect the past and present realities of local Native Americans and their continued connection to this land.
The LAS is a formal statement recognizing Indigenous People as immemorial stewards of the land on which our campuses are located. The LAS pays respect to the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional lands. The intent is not just to acknowledge this bond but also to deepen awareness of our connection to history and our current understanding of our place, roles, and responsibilities given that history. This acknowledgment may be painful, but it is an important development within our efforts to move Loyola in the direction of greater inclusivity, deeper anti-racist action, and commitment to stewardship of our planet.
We are grateful for the dedicated work of the Land Acknowledgement Committee—the students, faculty, staff, and community partners who shaped and stewarded the LAS. They were guided by Dr. Michael Schuck, professor in theology and the School of Environmental Sustainability (SES) and co-director of the Jesuit Ecology Project, and Dr. Nancy Tuchman, founding dean of SES.
Land Acknowledgement Committee
- Sasha Adkins, Lecturer, SES, Environmental Health
- Gregory Palmer, Lecturer, SES, Environmental Microbiology
- Tania Schusler, Assistant Professor, SES, Social & Human Dimensions of Environmental Issue
- Stephen Mitten, SJ, Senior Lecturer, SES
- Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
- Benjamin Johnson, Associate Professor, Department of History
- Ella Doyle, Class of 2023, Political Science and Criminal Justice, Student Government of Loyola Chicago (Cherokee)
- Shriya Patel, Class of 2022, Environmental Science and Political Science, Co-President, Student Environmental Alliance (SEA)
- Matt Lorentz – Class of 2022, Environmental Science and Political Science, Co-President, SEA
- Benji Pesto – Class of 2023, Environmental studies and German Studies
- Lucas Ochoa – Class of 2023, Environmental Science
- Aaron Durnbaugh, Director of Loyola’s Office of Sustainability
- Al Eastman, American Indian Center, Chicago (Sincangu Lakota)
We appreciate the guidance provided by the Student Government of Loyola Chicago, the THEA Institute, and the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy, who have crafted land acknowledgment statements in their units. We are grateful for their assistance in thoughtfully shaping the University’s LAS.
We will collaborate with units and leaders across campus to create visual displays of the LAS in significant campus locations and administrative offices. We will establish guidelines as to how the LAS will be used officially at Loyola’s public events, and organize Indigenous-focused projects, programs, and organizations through the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We will continue work to recruit faculty and staff from Indigenous communities.
Land acknowledgment is a longstanding protocol of Indigenous People, helping connect past with present and build respect among and between nations. By providing a reflection point for all of us across our Chicagoland campuses, the hope is that it contributes to community and helps to further our understanding and deepen our Jesuit mission to advance reconciliation and justice.
Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM EdD
Margaret Faut Callahan, CRNA, PhD, FNAP, FAAN
Provost and Chief Academic Officer