Indigenous Peoples Day
As we celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day today, it is important to recognize the Indigenous peoples that first resided near and lived in relation with the Chicago-Calumet River system for hundreds of years before Europeans arrived, and to appreciate how Indigenous perspectives can continue to inform our relationships with water.
The Chicago River watershed is located on the ancestral lands of many tribes, including the Council of the Three Fires – the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi Nations – as well as the Fox, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Miami, Sac, and Kickapoo tribes. Tribal nations lived in kinship with the river, experiencing it as vital to community, nourishment, and trade. Chicago currently constitutes one of the largest urban Indigenous communities in the country. Members of this community continue to protect the river system as a source of life, balance and healing.
May we all appreciate the contributions and perspectives of Indigenous peoples that ground us in the history and presence of the river.