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Responding to ACC’s Land Acknowledgement
ACC acknowledges that we all exist, learn, and grow on what was once indigenous land as described below. Why come right out and say it? Why now? And once we say it, what then? Check out this link from the Native Governance Center about the meaning and importance of a Land Acknowledgement. Actions of the past have repercussions into the future. Below is our acknowledgement followed by a few actions we can take now to begin to make things better one step at a time.
ACC’s Land Acknowledgement
As a means of expressing our gratitude, and in recognition of whose territory we reside in, we want to start our meetings by acknowledging the indigenous history of the land our institution is occupying, and specifically the peoples of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Ute, and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ tribes. We are obligated to reflect on, and actively address, the history of this area, including the Sand Creek Massacre, as we continue in our work to move this institution towards a more inclusive and welcoming place for all people.
What can you do in Fall of 2022?
During Fall of 2022, let’s explore together what this can mean for ACC. The College is currently working with leadership of the Northern Arapaho to create educational events to promote mutual understanding. In the meantime, how can students, faculty, and staff at ACC build up our own understanding?
For more information on how to get involved in ACC’s Equity efforts visit ACC's Inclusive Excellence page.
How can this acknowledgement and further understanding expand our curriculum? Our student learning? Our reach to all persons in our community? Below are some short, curated lists of ways we can start:
Listen to Stories from a Native American Point of View
Listening can begin in the reading of books by Native American authors such as these titles:
- Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask
nonfiction by Anton Treuer
- Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley
- Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria Jr. Reader by Vine Deloria Jr. and Wilma Mankiller
For titles more specific to curriculum and pedagogy, check the Libguide page:
ACC Library page with IEC Resources
(Be sure to click through to “The Library’s Collection” tab in the main box marked “Equity and Inclusivity at ACC” to get to the titles.)
This Fall we are finishing one book group on Treuer’s book (above). Talk with john [dot] hall [at] arapahoe [dot] edu (subject: Book%20Group-%20Native%20Amereican%20Listening) (John Hall) about setting up a faculty / staff book group for Spring 2023.
New Ideas for Thanksgiving
In the interest of bringing indigenous stories to light during the Thanksgiving holiday, here are some ideas:
Consider a quick pilgrimage to the memorial of Silas Soule at 15th and Arapahoe in downtown Denver during the Thanksgiving weekend. Learn more about Silas Soule who ordered his men NOT to fire at the Sand Creek Massacre. (“Mount Soule” is one of the names currently being considered for the re-naming of Mount Evans.)
Read about the Annual Spiritual Healing Run-Walk from Sand Creek to Denver. If registration for this year’s event becomes available, we will post it here.
Learn about Opportunities to Volunteer
Here are just a few of the many organizations right here in the metro area with opportunities to serve and learn.
- Volunteer at the Denver Indian Center- consider Frybread Friday, or working in the Food Bank
- Denver Indian Family Resource Center - sign up for their newsletter and consider gathering suggested items for in-kind donation
- Denver American Indian Festival- consider volunteering to help with this cultural event (NOTE: this event is cancelled for 2022, but is planned again for September of 2023)
Below is a link to a more extensive list. One of the organizations listed here may match up with the vision and goals of students in YOUR academic program. If so, talk with diana [dot] hornick [at] arapahoe [dot] edu (subject: Service%20Learning-%20Native%20American) (Diana Hornick) about setting up a Service Learning curriculum item featuring student service projects with one of these organizations.
Considerations for Volunteering: Tune in. Learn. Grow.
While volunteering, abandon your agenda and tune in to the stories of others. As you work, try to think of all you will write down on your list of things you learned that day. Growth will probably come automatically if you allow for some quiet space in which to learn. Enjoy!
Learn about Ways to Adjust Your Curriculum
- ACC Library page with IEC Resources (Click through on “The Library’s Collection” tab and scroll down for some book choices.)
- Pulling Together: A Guide for Curriculum Developers by Asma-na-hi Antoine; Rachel Mason; Roberta Mason; Sophia Palahicky; and Carmen Rodriguez de France on Creative Commons.
Start your “Pulling Together” journey with this video, “Learning From Indigenous World Views”.
Read the article above, scroll to the bottom and look over the activities. If you would like to start a Discovery Group based on working these Indigenous epistemologies into your teaching, contact john [dot] hall [at] arapahoe [dot] edu (subject: Indigenous%20Epistomologies%20Discovery%20Group) (John Hall) about setting that up.