What We Do

Land and Water Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that the land and waterways we steward, learn from, and love near Michigami* (commonly referred to as Lake Michigan) are the traditional lands of Indigenous peoples including the Potawatomi, Menominee, and Ho-Chunk. Past, present, and future caretakers of these lands and waters include the Ojibwe, Peoria, Sauk and Fox, Oneida, Mohican, Brothertown, and other Indigenous peoples.

As we celebrate and connect people to these natural spaces and species, we acknowledge that:

  • The land and waterways of Milwaukee have been the home of Indigenous peoples long before European settlement; before memory or record.
  • Through deceit, forced removal, and massacre, colonizers attempted to erase Indigenous peoples from this land and these waterways.
  • Indigenous people are strong and determined, and there are many communities in the Milwaukee-area today who are keeping the stories, languages, and traditions of Indigenous peoples alive.

Acknowledging the complex past and present traumas and triumphs is a step toward healing and a more just future.

* Michigami is the Algonquin word meaning “Great Water.” The name Lake Michigan was derived from this word.

What is a land and water acknowledgment?
A land and water acknowledgment is a first step in honoring the Indigenous people who live here, including those whose ancestors were forcibly removed from their traditional lands and whose stories have been erased. The wounds of these tragedies cannot be mended without being understood. Acknowledging centuries of trauma is a step toward healing and a more just future


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