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"Chicago is situated on the lands of the Potawatomi people. They were the stewards of this land and lived, loved, and cared for it until forced out by non-Native settlers. Tribes who have historical relationships with the lands in greater Chicago and Northern Illinois through trade, travel, and habitation also include the Odawa, Ojibwe, Peoria, Kaskaskia, Miami, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Mascouten, Kickapoo, Sauk, and Fox, as well as mound builders and other tribes whose names have been lost as a result of genocide and ethnocide of European colonialism and United States expansion. This land continues to be home to Indigenous people, and Chicago is home to one of the largest urban Indigenous populations in the United States."

Land acknowledgement created collaboratively by John Low with elders of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and current Native residents of Chicago​

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Though brutal U.S. policies of war, genocide and removal have decimated and displaced Indigenous peoples from the Chicago area, they still thrive today.


Many tribes are still located on their homelands around the Great Lakes. Others have made homes in the lands they were forced onto. For information about the nations that have lived in the Chicago area, click on each name below to access their official website. These are only the tribes located in what is now the U.S.; related communities are also recognized as First Nations in Canada.


(Adapted from

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