Commitment to Indigenous Communities

As a leader in plant conservation, horticulture, and environmental education committed to equity and inclusion, it is the responsibility of the Chicago Botanic Garden to recognize the Indigenous communities that were the original caretakers of the land on which the Chicago Botanic Garden’s main and satellite campuses reside. We acknowledge the historical fact of their violent physical removal and dispossession and recognize that these historical actions have continuing impacts.  

We commit to an ongoing process of learning and reflection as we advance our organization’s work to design experiences that respectfully engage all visitors in our spaces.  

Throughout this process of learning and engagement, we commit to the following actions:

  • co-developing a geographically specific land acknowledgment statement in collaboration with Indigenous communities,
  • supporting land sovereignty for Indigenous communities, specifically access to and use of the land for cultural practices (e.g. harvesting, ceremonies and gatherings),
  • telling complete, accurate stories that uplift voices and are representative of Indigenous communities,
  • honoring and celebrating Indigenous culture and contributions, both past and present;
  • building meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities,
  • working with local and displaced Indigenous communities to identify additional actions that meaningfully honor their heritage, traditions, and futures.

Until the Chicago Botanic Garden co-develops a geographically specific land acknowledgment in collaboration with Indigenous communities, we share the one developed by the Forest Preserves of Cook County, as they are the current custodians of the land on which the Garden sits.

The Forest Preserves of Cook County Land Acknowledgment

The Forest Preserves of Cook County acknowledges that we are on the ancestral homelands of the Council of Three Fires—the Ojibwa, Ottawa and Potawatomi tribes—and a place of trade with many other tribes, including the Ho-Chunk, Miami, Menominee, Sauk and Meskwaki.

As a land management agency, we acknowledge that we have played a role in shaping the histories of local Native Americans by acquiring this land. We must also recognize, share and celebrate the history of local Native Americans and their immemorial ties to this land.

We commit ourselves to developing deeper partnerships that advocate for the progress, dignity and humanity of the many diverse Native Americans who still live and practice their heritage and traditions on this land today.