by David Bender
Before the Treaty of 1833, American Indian people lived in and around Chicago in numbers that are much greater than today. The last settlement forced to relocate was the Pottwatomi that settled in and around Bunker Hill and surrounding Cook County Forest Preserves on the North west side of Chicago. Some would consider that Treaty to be Chicago's Trail of Tears.
Bear in mind, many Native people never left. The federal Relocation Act would again compel American Indian families to move, this time returning to cities including Chicago. The census of 2010 has the American Indian population at around 50,000 in the Chicagoland area. That population represents nearly every tribal nation in the United States but makes up less than 1% of the Chicago population.
Being the Indigenous People of this land, that 1% is not like any other population in Chicago. We should consider ourselves special stakeholders when it comes to land -- any piece of land. After all, our ancestors did die fighting to protect this land.
People have many ideas around returning that land back to our families. To share ideas is to build initiative and we plan on doing just that as we have done in the past, circling around the kitchen table and talking it out.
Thursday, August 9th (6-8PM), the AIC will be hosting an event called: Kitchen Table Talk: Community Housing . This will be the first Kitchen Table Talk event. We hope to make this an ongoing series to provide space for conversation and plotting.
PS... In the spirit of tradition, feel free to bring a dish/drink to share.
Did you know...
The State of Illinois does not have a Tribal Base? Therefore some housing benefits/programs are Inaccessible to our states population.
The State of Illinois has a ban against rent control policy?
Did you know that there are 'some' HUD programs accessible to American Indians looking to buy land (as large as a four-plex) in Cook, Lake, Kane, and DuPage counties? See HUD Section 184 . Did you know that few families utilize Section 184? The 'guaranteed loan' program.
These are topics we will be discussing at tomorrow's Kitchen Table Talk. We hope to see you there. Remember, this is just the beginning of the conversation. After tomorrow's KTT we will post notes and possibly some audio from the discussion so that we can make it accessible to as many people as possible looking to build power for place.
To help us out. Please answer the following question:
What does community housing mean to you?