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CLC adopts Land Acknowledgement statement as part of Native American Heritage Month

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Oct 22, 2021

To show respect for and honor Native Americans and their Heritage this November during Native American Heritage Month, College of Lake County (CLC) has adopted a Land Acknowledgement statement to honor the Indigenous Peoples of the land the college resides on.

Native American Heritage Month banner

Created by CLC’s Diversity Council, the statement can be read by individuals or organizations to open meetings, classes, presentations and public events held on CLC’s campuses. 

Land Acknowledgements are a custom that dates back centuries for many Native communities and nations. It helps with understanding the history of the land and those who lived on it throughout history. In doing so, it raises awareness about ongoing issues within different communities.

“It's time to change current story about Native Americans in this country,” said Diversity Council Co-chair Jesse Morales. “The lack of awareness of Native Americans and their heritage is widespread. We have to make sure this history isn't erased.”

Many people in the country, Morales and Diversity Council Co-chair Lorri Scott said, don’t understand the history of Native Americans and land in America.

“There are misconceptions about the Native and Indigenous people who were here before it was America,” Scott said. “They have not been acknowledged as being the original inhabitants and owners of the land. This acknowledgement will help honor and respect the truth.”

The statement is just a simple first step, Morales said, in helping face the issues affecting Native Americans in Lake County and the country, with more long-term work to come.

CLC adopted the following as its official Land Acknowledgement statement, though it is fluid and may change over time:

“We respectfully acknowledge that the College of Lake County is on the ancestral homelands of the Kickapoo, Peoria, Potawatomi and other Native Peoples. We recognize the longstanding significance of these lands for Indigenous Peoples past, present and future. Historical awareness of Indigenous exclusion and erasure is critically important to preventing further atrocities. The College of Lake County pledges to acknowledge the grave injustices of the past and pledge to create awareness and advance education that invites truth.”

The statement will be introduced on Nov. 9 prior to speaker Dr. Richard Meyers’ talk on Zoom. Meyers is the Director of Graduate Studies at Oglala Lakota College on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. His presentation, High-Context Versus Low-Context Cultural Communication and its Implications in the Classroom, will address ways in which we might not only challenge, but correct essentialized claims about indigenous and other minoritized identities.

The presentation is from 3-4:30 p.m. Register for the Zoom meeting here.

You can find what land you are standing on by going to 

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.