Loyola University Chicago

THEA Institute

Land Acknowledgement

The Loyola community occupies the ancestral homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, an alliance which formed based on the shared language, similar culture, and common historical background of its three historical members: the Odawa, Potawatomi, and Ojibwe nations. The land that Loyola occupies, which includes the shore and waters of Lake Michigan, was also a site of trade, travel, gathering and healing for more than a dozen other Native tribes, including the Menominee, Michigamea, Miami, Kickapoo, Peoria and Ho-Chunk nations. The history of the city of Chicago is intertwined with histories of native peoples. The name Chicago is adopted from the Algonquin language, and the Chicagoland area is still home to the largest number of Native Americans in the Midwest, over 65,000.

This historical relationship is not innocuous. The 1833 Treaty of Chicago forced the migration of the Odawa, Potawatomi and Ojibwe to drastically smaller lands west of the Mississippi River. Chicago was also the destination, more than a century later, for coerced relocation of Native peoples under the Indian Relocation Act of 1956, which resulted in widespread disenfranchisement, poverty and isolation for the Native people relocated to Chicago and other urban centers. The history of the lands Loyola occupies, and the history of Native Americans in Chicago and Illinois, is a history of displacement, conquest, and dehumanization. We at Loyola and THEA Institute, in step with our Jesuit Catholic tradition, must commit to acknowledging this violent history by incorporating Native American texts and perspectives into our classes and working to keep this shared history alive in our study, conversation, and professional development. 

This land acknowledgment is provided by the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy. Learn more here.