As part of our effort to better serve traditionally marginalized/minoritized groups, FRCC is committed to changing our policies and practices to be more responsive to the needs of Native American and Indigenous students. A small, but initial, step to this is to acknowledge the original stewards of the lands FRCC campuses now sit on. This is why we have crafted our Land Acknowledgement Statement below.
This statement was developed and written with the assistance of Native American and Indigenous students, families, staff, faculty and community members. It marks the beginning of our efforts to not only bring awareness to the original stewards of the lands our campuses sit on, but to:
- Create and build relationships with local Native American and Indigenous tribes
- Provide community service and donations to the local tribal organizations
- Create and provide FRCC Foundation scholarships to three Native American Students who come from one of the Colorado Native American Tribes (one scholarship for each campus
FRCC will continue to assess our path moving forward and our Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Council will continually look for ways to increase our efforts to serve our whole community.
Front Range Community College Land Acknowledgment Statement
Front Range Community College acknowledges that, with respect, the lands that our campuses occupy are the ancestral and traditional homelands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne and Ute nations. We honor the land, the water, all peoples both living and past, and we are grateful to be here - recognizing that the original stewards of this land were those ancestors who have lived here for thousands of years, prior to written histories, as well as the many diverse and vibrant Native communities who are still connected to this land on which we gather today.
Through oral histories we know that these areas were also the sites of day-to-day life, gathering, trade, community and healing for many other Native Nations - the Apache, Comanche, Hopi, Kiowa, Lakota, Shoshone and the Zuni being among at least 48 contemporary Native Nations that have been part of the recent history of the lands that make up the state of Colorado.
However, we must also acknowledge the impacts of manifest destiny3, including the painful histories of genocide, broken treaties, forced removal from these lands, silencing and exploitation, as well as the continued racism and the magnitude of inequities that Native Americans and Indigenous people continue to experience to this day. In recent times, the United States government legally recognized the Cheyenne and Arapaho Nations as the owners of these lands through the Fort Laramie Treaty of 18511 - although, presently, many tribes including the Arapaho have been fully displaced and have no legally recognized land in Colorado2.
As we speak these words of acknowledgement, our intention is to recognize the ties that those Native Nations have to their traditional homelands, while also recognizing our responsibilities as an institution that is the beneficiary of unceded land. While we cannot expect the descendants living today to forgive or forget what has happened, we can offer a promise to remember the past and pledge to forge a new path forward to treat our tenure in these lands with respect. Consistent with the college's commitment to equity, inclusion and diversity, Front Range Community College commits itself to action towards positive outcomes for Indigenous peoples by: funding to support Native American students with scholarship opportunities; supporting our staff, faculty and our communities through continuous learning and education; community service, outreach and enrollment efforts; historical recognitions; and community partnerships.