Natural Communities acknowledges that the lands where live and where our native plant materials are grown are located on the ancestral homelands of indigenous tribes including Council of the Three Fires--comprised of the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations--as well as the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Sac, Fox, Kickapoo, and Illinois Nations.
For centuries, these Native Americans stewarded and protected these lands, until ownership was largely stolen from them by U.S. colonizers. Today, we employ certain land management techniques that follow indigenous practices like controlled burning. However, we, and our partners would greatly benefit from more intentional application of indigenous knowledge in how we manage and honor the land.
Chicagoland is home to one of the largest and most diverse urban Native American communities in the United States. Community members celebrate, practice, and adapt their heritage and traditions within our modern, urban environment. It is our responsibility to find common cause with community members and support their engagement with ecological restoration.
Natural Communities is committed to:
Listening, learning, self-reflection
Crediting Native Americans for their knowledge and information, in particular land management and cultivation practices.
Establish a direct line of communication with Native American partners.
Honor Native American heritage and modern culture.
We ask you to offer gratitude, respect, and support to the many Native American People, including their Ancestors, who consider the lands and water sacred. And please join us in carrying on a legacy of respect and active caretaking of our planet - for us and future generations.
To find out how you can give back directly to the Native American community in Chicagoland, please visit the following:
American Indian Center of Chicago, www.aicchicago.org
Chicago American Indian Community Collaborative, www.chicagoaicc.com
Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, www.mitchellmuseum.org
Native American Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, www.nacc-il.org/illinois-american-indian-organizations