Board Passes Land Acknowledgement

Cook County Board Unanimously passes Land Acknowledgment Ordinance Amendment Spearheaded
by Chief Sponsor Commissioner Kevin Morrison

A Land Acknowledgment Statement shall now be read at the onset of meetings of the
Forest Preserve Board and Cook County Board of Commissioners

Chicago, Ill. – April 27th, 2023 – Today, the Cook County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed an Ordinance Amendment calling for a Land Acknowledgment statement to be read at the beginning of regular meetings of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. This change comes in the wake of the tireless work of Native American groups and advocates.  

“Today, we take another step towards achieving the equity goals of our board.” said Commissioner Kevin Morrison. “I am grateful for the unanimous support of my fellow commissioners. I believe it is incredibly important and meaningful to recognize the indigenous peoples who came before us. To acknowledge them is to further our understanding of our place in this land’s history, and to remember the mistakes and injustices of our past so that they may never be repeated.” 

“The Cook County Board and Forest Preserve Board voted to adopt a Land Acknowledgement that will honor the many Native Nations that lived on this land we today call Cook County,.” said Les Begay (Dine’) of the Indigenous Peoples Day Coalition of Illinois. “It’s important to understand the history of the land and the displacement of the Indigenous Peoples who were the original caretakers. Land acknowledgments are a stepping stone to recognize the broken treaties of the past and our ancestors who live through us today.” 

“As our land acknowledgement reads, Cook County exists on lands that have been home to Indigenous People for thousands of years. It is essential that we recognize that fact in our work to advance racial equity in Cook County, and that we acknowledge the past harm perpetrated on the Native Americans who lived here,” said President Preckwinkle. “Cook County and Chicago are still home to many Native Americans who can trace their lineage back to tribes that have lived here for centuries. It is vital to honor and appreciate the history of Native Americans in this region, and I’m grateful to Commissioner Kevin Morrison for championing this piece of legislation.” 

The Forest Preserve Board of Cook County adopted a similar Ordinance Amendment on Tuesday, April 25th and shall also read a land acknowledgment statement at the beginning of regular meetings.  

The Forest Preserves of Cook County and the Cook County Board of Commissioner’s land acknowledgment serves to acknowledge that we are on Native American land as well as to commit ourselves to developing and growing partnerships with Native American communities that continue to live on this land. 

This Ordinance Amendment has been immediately adopted and land acknowledgment statements will be read at the beginning of the next meetings of both boards.