What is a Land Acknowledgment and why do we recognize land?

A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.

To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honoring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long-standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol.


What is Tribal Sovereignty?

The U.S. Supreme Court has acknowledged that tribal governments are the oldest sovereigns on the continent—Native American sovereignty predates the sovereignty of the U.S.—and as such, tribes and tribal people maintain some degree of control, though a diminished measure of sovereignty to be sure. Tribal sovereignty includes the right to govern one’s community, the ability to preserve one’s culture, and the right to control one’s own economy. The sovereignty status (tribal sovereignty encompassing Native American military, social, and economic development) of Indian nations still remains today. As sovereign entities, Indian nations are guaranteed the power and/or right to determine their form of government, define citizenship, make and enforce laws through their own police force and courts, collect taxes, and regulate property use.


What are Indian Treaties?

A treaty is an agreement between two nations or sovereigns. Article 37 of the UN Declaration explicitly recognizes the right of indigenous peoples to have their treaties, agreements, and other constructive arrangements with States recognized, observed, and enforced. The United States, initially contemplating Native nations as preconstitutional and extraconstitutional international sovereigns, ratified 370 treaties and entered into 45 more with Native nations between 1778 and 1871. Treaties served as the moral and legal compass that was to guide the interactions between the United States and Native nations.


Treaties used to remove American Indians from Iowa

1. Treaty of St. Louis, November 03, 1804
2. Treaty with the Sauk and Fox and Ioway Indians, August 04, 1824
3. Treaty of Prairie du Chien, August 19, 1825
4. Treaty of Black Hawk Purchase, September 21, 1832
5. Treaty with the Sacs and Foxes, September 27, 1836
6. Treaty with the Winnebago, November 01, 1837
7. Treaty with the Sauk and Fox, October 11, 1842
8. Treaty with Potawatomi Nation, June 05 and 17, 1846
9. Treaty with the Sioux, August 05, 1851

UI Indigenous Land Acknowledgement

The University of Iowa is located on the homelands of the Ojibwe/Anishinaabe (Chippewa), Báxoǰe (Iowa), Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), Omāēqnomenēwak (Menominee), Myaamiaki (Miami), Nutachi (Missouri), Umoⁿhoⁿ (Omaha), Wahzhazhe (Osage), Jiwere (Otoe), Odawaa (Ottawa), Póⁿka (Ponca), Bodéwadmi/Neshnabé (Potawatomi), Meskwaki/Nemahahaki/Sakiwaki (Sac and Fox), Dakota/Lakota/Nakoda, Sahnish/Nuxbaaga/Nuweta (Three Affiliated Tribes) and Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Nations. The following tribal nations, Umoⁿhoⁿ (Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and Iowa), Póⁿka (Ponca Tribe of Nebraska), Meskwaki (Sac and Fox of the Mississippi in Iowa), and Ho-Chunk (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska) Nations continue to thrive in the State of Iowa and we continue to acknowledge them. As an academic institution, it is our responsibility to acknowledge the sovereignty and the traditional territories of these tribal nations, and the treaties that were used to remove these tribal nations, and the histories of dispossession that have allowed for the growth of this institution since 1847. Consistent with the University's commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, understanding the historical and current experiences of Native peoples will help inform the work we do; collectively as a university to engage in building relationships through academic scholarship, collaborative partnerships, community service, enrollment and retention efforts acknowledging our past, our present and future Native Nations.

REVISED 03-05-21

Tribal Nations that had homelands in Iowa

Chippewa (Ojibwe/Anishinaabe)
Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Bay Mills Indian Community of Michigan
Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community of Michigan
Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe

  • Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
  • Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  • Grand Portage Chippewa
  • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
  • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
  • White Earth Nation

Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Sokaogon Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
St. Croix Chippewa Indians
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians

Iowa (Báxoǰe)
Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska
Iowa Tribe in Oklahoma

Kickapoo (Kiikaapoi)
Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas
Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas
Kickapoo Tribe in Oklahoma

Menominee (Omāēqnomenēwak)
Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin

Miami (Myaamiaki)
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma

Missouria (Nutachi)
Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians

Omaha (Umoⁿhoⁿ)
Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and Iowa *

Osage (Wahzhazhe)
Osage Nation

Otoe (Jiwere)
Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians

Ottawa (Odawaa)
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma

Ponca (Póⁿka)
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska *
Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma

Potawatomi (Bodéwadmi/Neshnabé)
Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Forest County Potawatomi Community
Gun Lake Tribe (Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band) of Pottawatomi Indians
Hannahville Indian Community of Michigan
Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation

Sac and Fox (Meskwaki/Nemahahaki/Sakiwaki)
Sac and Fox of the Mississippi in Iowa *
Sac and Fox Nation of the Missouri
Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
Crow Creek Sioux Tribe
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe
Fort Belknap Indian Community
Fort Peck Tribes of Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
Lower Sioux Indian Community
Oglala Sioux Tribe
Prairie Island Indian Community
Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Santee Sioux Tribe
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation
Spirit Lake Tribe
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Upper Sioux Community
Yankton Sioux Tribe

Three Affiliated Tribes (Sahnish/Nuxbaaga/Nuweta)
Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation

Winnebago (Ho-Chunk)
Ho-Chunk Nation
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska *