DENVER, CO – December 19, 2021 – Take a moment to ask yourself: Why are there no Native American Reservations in the Front Range or on the eastern plains of Colorado?
People of the Sacred Land is honored to announce the establishment of the Truth, Restoration, and Education Commission (TREC). TREC is an independent, privately funded commission created to examine the history of American Indian Tribes in Colorado from 1850 – 2021. During this time, the U.S. Federal Government and the Territorial Government of Colorado stole lands from Native people by introducing and breaking treaties that further perpetuated the genocide of our ancestors.
TREC is privately funded to eliminate any undue interference from state and federal governments and ensure independence due to the potential legal culpability related to any transgressions by any governmental entities. Tribes and Native People will nominate seven commissioners to oversee the commission’s work.
The history of American Indians in Colorado is clouded with mystery and dishonorable dealings that have significantly harmed the Tribes of Colorado and their people. Most information about the Tribes originates from a colonial perspective that dismisses the experiences of Native people and alters the truth and interpretation of the facts. In partnership with consultants, TREC will prepare a historical economic loss report by reviewing historical and legal documents and holding hearings with impacted parties. TREC will also provide recommendations for restoring justice for Native people in Colorado and those whose ancestors were forcefully removed from the state.
What happened to Native People in Colorado is often lost in current discussions and not accurately taught in our public education system. The average citizens and even the exceptionally informed have little to no knowledge of our history in this state. TREC will provide recommendations for long-term solutions to educate Native people and the Colorado community.
People of the Sacred Land 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 past actions, and what are the solutions to resolve the past? The People of the Sacred Land was formed when we learned about Colorado’s untold history. We seek the truth, equity, and conciliation for the past.