Uncovering the truth about Colorado history to create an equitable future for American Indians.
PEOPLE OF THE SACRED LAND
People of the Sacred Land (PSL) is a coalition of Native leaders, elders, and concerned citizens who want to learn the truth about the dispossession of their land and why Native people in Colorado were forced from their homelands. How and why did the genocide happen? Who was responsible for the policies, treaties, and laws that harmed Indians? What can be done about the actions of the past, and what are the solutions to resolve the past? The People of the Sacred Land was formed when they began to learn about the lies and untold stories of the history of Colorado. They are seeking the truth, creating equity, education, restoration, and reconciliation for the past.
We acknowledge today that we are living on the land of Native American ancestors. In recent times the United States government legally recognized the Cheyenne and Arapaho Nations as the owners of the land through the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851. This land was occupied by at least 48 other nations in the last 500 years. We acknowledge that the Creator gave us this land along with the instructions that we are responsible for caring for the land, the water, the air, and all living beings. As we acknowledge the land we must also refute the colonized notion of manifest destiny. We will seek ongoing opportunities to engage Native people in land stewardship and restore justice to Native People.
American Indian Lands in Colorado
Colorado recognizes 48 tribes as once-living within the state’s borders. Today only two tribes have reservation lands in the state: The Ute Mountain Ute and the Southern Ute Tribes. However, starting in 1851 nine tribes were forced into signing treaties that gave up their land in the Colorado Territory. These tribes include Ute Mountain Ute, Southern Ute, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray, Northern and Southern Arapaho, Northern and Southern Cheyenne, Shoshone, and the Kiowa-Apache. People of the Sacred Land is working to uncover the truth about how treaty lands were stolen from these tribes, many of whom consider lands in Colorado to be unceeded.
Recognized Tribes in Colorado
Tribes with Treaty Lands
American Indian Reservations in Colorado
The purpose of the People of Sacred Land is to support American Indian people who are citizens of the State of Colorado to preserve their culture, language, and ways of life that were intimately tied to the land.
In The News
Elle Sullum | February 1, 2022 | 303 Magazine
Clarissa Guy | March 16, 2022 | Rocky Mountain PBS