Land Acknowledgement

Port of Entry shares the stories of people who traveled here from lands around the world to make new homes for themselves. As we honor their stories, we also acknowledge the first people who made their homes here.

Albany Park is on the traditional territories of the Council of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi tribes. We acknowledge the forced removal of Native people, as well as the centuries of broken treaties, cultural and linguistic erasure, continued neglect, and exploitation.

Today, more than 75,000 Indigenous people representing 180 nations live in the Chicagoland area, one of the largest and most diverse Indigenous communities in the U.S. Right here in Albany Park, the American Indian Center is one of the oldest urban Native Centers in the country while the Chi Nations Youth Council has turned a vacant lot into the First Nations Garden.  

American Indian Center

Located at the corner of Ainslie and Kimball in Albany Park, the American Indian Center of Chicago (AIC) promotes fellowship among Native people of all Tribes living in metropolitan Chicago and creates bonds of understanding and communication between Natives and non-Natives in this city; advances the general welfare of Natives into the metropolitan community life; fosters the economic advancement of Natives; sustains cultural, artistic, and avocational pursuits; and perpetuates Native cultural values. Visit the American Indian Center of Chicago.

Chi-Nations Youth Council & First Nations Garden

Chi-Nations Youth Council was created in 2012 and comprises a diverse group of youth and adults with a mission to create a supportive, open environment for Native Youth, raise awareness of cultural identity, and promote a healthy lifestyle through arts, activism, and education. Chi-Nations works towards this goal by strengthening the community through avid volunteerism, fundraising, and traditional values.

Through organizing led by Chi-Nations Youth Council, the First Nations Garden (Wiinso, Wiikonge Otishinikaaso) was established in the Spring of 2019. The mission of the First Nations Garden is to provide a healing space for Chicago’s First Nations communities and promote public knowledge and appreciation of Chicago’s Indigenous landscape and ecosystems. The First Nations Garden is located at the corner of Wilson and Pulaski in Albany Park.

Native-Led Movements for Justice

Theatre Communications Group offers this resource page with educational, volunteer, and mobilizing opportunities in Native-Led Movements for Justice. Here are a few of their recent suggestions:

Petition: Return Lampson Brook Farm to the Nipmuc People

Join the fight to save Chi’Chil Bildagoteel from a copper-mining conglomerate

Learn about the #LandBack movement

Learn about and support Native Theater Makers