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Recognizing the history of Indigenous people in Illinois

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U.S. President Joe Biden issued an Indigenous Peoples' Day proclamation Friday, Oct. 8.

One community college is highlighting the contributions of indigenous people in Illinois during a virtual event this Thursday.

Julie Hartman-Linck is a sociology instructor at Highland Community College in Freeport. She said most people don’t know much about the history of indigenous individuals.

“So, I think it's really important to just become more aware of, you know, the fact that we are -- we're on somebody else's land,” she said. “It was not ours, for the taking. And I think that's an important part.”

She added, “We might have seen, you know, monuments, oftentimes built in victories that white colonialist settlers had, as opposed to honoring the heritage of the folks who lived here before us.”

The discussion “Why Every Day is Indigenous Peoples' Day: Exploring Native American Presence in Illinois” will be led by Jenny L. Davis. Davis is an associate professor of Anthropology and instructor of American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois.

The conversation takes place at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 14 via Zoom.