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Native American/Indigenous Inclusion and Belonging

UIC is part of a university system that is located on stolen Native land in a city that is home to one of the largest urban Native American communities in the United States. As a public institution and part of a land-grant university system, UIC has an obligation to support Native American students and community. Land grant institutions were established through the Morrill Act of 1862 through which the federal government dispossessed Native People of their lands and gave these lands to 52 universities throughout the United States. The University of Illinois System received 477, 710 acres of land, representing the 4th largest land in acres of all land grant institutions (

UIC was one of the first urban, public universities to support Native students through the creation of the Native American Support Program (visit: In 2021, UIC released the Task Force Report (listed in the “UIC Reports” section below) of the Native Americans at UIC that addressed the question “What is the status of Native Americans on the UIC campus?” Findings from this report included gaps for Native people to access and attain a higher education, and a need for additional support for Native students at UIC.

The purpose of this initiative, Native American and Indigenous Inclusion and Belonging (NAIIB), is to provide a broader education to UIC’s leader’s and campus community, advocate for campus investment in building and maintaining positive relationships with local, national, and global Native American and Indigenous communities, and provide increased support, visibility and voice for Native American and Indigenous members of the UIC campus and communities.

Please visit the links below to learn more about Native and Indigenous peoples, the local Chicago Native American community, and resources for Native American students, faculty, and staff.

"Acknowledge" is a Verb Heading link

There has been a growing mainstream interest in Native American and Indigenous peoples and issues. One example of that interest is the increasing popularity and visibility of land acknowledgements. We called this educational campaign “Acknowledge” is a Verb to emphasize that a land acknowledgement is not just words that a person or group creates that will live on a plaque, a website, or a written page or be delivered as opening remarks at campus events. To acknowledge is to go beyond words; it requires action. This educational campaign is intended to serve as an invitation to all of UIC campus leadership, faculty, staff, and students to learn and grow.

Here you will find information and links to additional resources. We hope you will take time to learn more about Native Americans and Indigenous peoples. We are committed to supporting the growth of UIC’s understanding of land acknowledgement as one part of a larger set of actions and policies that are needed to support Native American and Indigenous members of our campus and local, national, and global communities. A land acknowledgement signals that a group is interested in supporting and creating opportunities for Native and Indigenous peoples. If there are no policies or supports behind the land acknowledgement, it serves as a hollow statement that can do more damage than good.

“Acknowledge” is a Verb seeks to increase awareness of Native American and Indigenous people, and we hope that it serves a larger goal of encouraging our campus to build supportive relationships with Native American communities and peoples, both on and off campus.

We welcome you to join us as part of a campus-wide community of partners! Please contact us to share your questions and feedback.

Podcast Episodes Heading link

Native American and Indigenous Resources Heading link

UIC Reports Heading link

Native American-Focused Further Reading and Educational Resources Heading link