UL Land Acknowledgment

IU Indianapolis acknowledges our location on the traditional and ancestral territory of the Miami, Potawatomi and Shawnee people. We honor the heritage of Native peoples, what they teach us about the stewardship of the earth, and their continuing efforts today to protect the planet.

Founded in 1969, IU Indy stands on the historic homelands of Native peoples and, more recently, that of a vibrant Black community, also displaced. As the present stewards of the land, we honor them all as we live, work, and study at IU Indianapolis.1

Through our special and digital collections, University Library collects, preserves, and provides access to the history of the former residents of our campus’s land. Though our collections focus most on the Black communities who previously occupied IU Indy’s land, our local cultural heritage partners across the state of Indiana, like the Indiana Historical Society and Conner Prairie, have coverage of the First Nations people who occupied the land before and during US expansion. Many of those collections are made available through the Indiana Memory database.

Related Collections

Crispus Attucks was Indianapolis' first segregated high school built for African Americans in 1927. The school was named after Crispus Attucks, a black man who was the first American to die in the Boston Massacre in 1770, a precursor to the American Revolutionary War. Located at 1140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street, Indianapolis, IN. 46202, the school is home to the museum that houses memorabilia of the school’s history. In 2012, University Library collaborated with the museum to create a digital collection of yearbooks (1928-1986), newspapers, and graduation programs. We thank the Crispus Attucks Museum and its Board of Advisors for permission to digitize their valuable collection of historical documents. Browse the Crispus Attuck collection

Flanner House was founded in 1898 as a settlement house for the African-American community on what is now the IU Indianapolis campus.  The organization has provided occupational training and educational resources as well as connection to a wide variety of social services.  The Flanner House digital collection contains photographs, reports, and publications that document a portion of the history of Flanner House from the 1950s-1990s. Browse the Flanner House collection.

What began as a two-page church bulletin by co-founders George Pheldon Stewart and William H. Porter, the Indianapolis Recorder is now one of the top African American publications in the nation. Established in 1897, the Indianapolis Recorder focused on local people and events in Indianapolis but also reported national events.  In collaboration with the Indianapolis Recorder, University Library worked with Creekside Imaging to digitize the 1899-2014 run of microfilm. Whether you are a family historian, an academic researcher or part of the media, this collection will help you search for and access historically important stories of African American individuals, organizations, and events in Indianapolis, Indiana in the 20th and 21st centuries. Browse the Indianapolis Recorder collection

The Madam Walker Theatre is located at 617 Indiana Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202. Now called the Madam Walker Legacy Center “is a 501 c3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of Madam CJ Walker by providing cultural education, promoting social justice, supporting entrepreneurship and empowering youth to become the next generation of entrepreneurs and civic leaders. Prior to the latest building renovation, University Library collaborated with the Center and Online Resources Inc to 3D scan the theatre and banquet rooms. In addition to the rooms, heirloom items from the Walker theater were scanned including beauty products and theater objects. Browse the open access, 3D Madam Walker Theatre collection

The Urban Displacement collection contains documentation of Indiana University’s actions related to the creation of the current IU Indianapolis campus, especially to the purchase of property held by the predominantly African-American residents of the Indiana Avenue neighborhood.  Items include policy documents, maps, memos, property appraisals, and title abstracts that show how the University purchased property, what they paid, what services they offered to residents displaced from their homes and businesses, and how local, state, and federal policies impacted their work.  Like most urban renewal projects, the development of IU Indianapolis often came at the expense of poor, Black community members who were not paid the full replacement value of the property they sold or struggled to find suitable rentals at the same price. Browse the Urban Displacement and the Making of a University:  IUPUI, 1964-1990

1IUPUI Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. (2021). Land Acknowledgment. Retrieved June 21, 2021. https://diversity.indianapolis.iu.edu/land-acknowledgment/index.html