2020 Truth and Recognition Legislation-Colorado

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Native American Truth and Recognition in Colorado

October 3, 2019

The history of Native Americans is one of great strength and revitalization. It is a story built around values that have shaped Native cultures and U.S. society: respect for family and elders; shared responsibility to care for the land; and an obligation to do right by the next generation. It is a story of resilience through great pain and injustice, from broken treaties and loss of land and language in the past to derogatory sports mascots and biased history taught in schools today. Across more than 600 sovereign Native nations and in every profession and segment of society, Native Americans carry the cultural knowledge and wisdom that sustains Native sovereignty and helps build a stronger future for all. 

Adapted From: “Reclaiming Native Truth: Changing the Narrative About Native Americans” and the “American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”

Native Americans are the first nations of the land that now comprises the United States.  When Colorado was formed as a state of the United States, Native nations and Native individuals already lived on the land within what is now Colorado’s boundaries.

Our coalition calls upon the Colorado State Legislature to recognize and acknowledge the great strength of Native American Nations and Individuals while also recognizing the impact of the occupation and abuse against Native American Nations to identify opportunities to heal and ensure equity for all people living in Colorado through two pieces of legislation:

  1. A resolution recognizing the great history and strength of Native people and nations residing in the borders of what is now Colorado

  2. Development of a four year commission to recognize and develop recommendations to the Colorado legislature for truth and recognition of Native American history and how to improve and equitably address issues impacting Native American nations and people 

  3. What you can do:

  • Participate in a bi-weekly collaborative coalition to draft a resolution to propose to the Colorado legislature and to draft legislation for a commission to recognize and develop further recommendations to the Colorado legislature to improve Native Rights and Justice in Colorado

  • Invite others to support this coalition

  • Invite legislators and other policy makers to support legislation 

Contact: Nancy Rae Kochis nraeclarkhhp@herbalgardenswellness.org www.herbalgardenswellness.org

“For years, the lives and experiences of Indigenous peoples have often been introduced or described from a negative perspective. This may be well intentioned because the narrative draws attention to the many challenges and incredible needs faced by Native peoples, but this narrative reinforces stereotypes and implies hopelessness. Native peoples are deeply hopeful and have an abundance of cultural knowledge that is positive. A better narrative is one that reclaims the truth of our positive values and relationships.” — Cheryl Crazy Bull (Sicangu Lakota), President and CEO, American Indian College Fund