Dear Commander Community,
Sunday launches the start of Native American Heritage Month and we are looking forward to deepening our appreciation for and recognizing the contributions of the Native American and Indigenous Peoples through your Anchor Cohorts this month. Please read the land acknowledgement below:
John F Kennedy High School would like to acknowledge the Native history of the Denver region and Colorado more broadly, and recognize the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe.
The land that Denver sits on originally belonged to the Arapaho tribe, as laid out in the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie. When gold was discovered in the late 185os, white settlers arrived in the area in large numbers and began asserting their right to the land, leading to the Treaty of Fort Wise in 1861 and cessation of the land by some tribal leaders. In 1864, the Sand Creek Massacre resulted in the deaths of hundreds to Arapaho and Cheyenne people, and soon after these nations would be relocated out of Colorado.
Other nations native to Colorado include the Apache, Comanche, Shoshone, and Ute. The latter includes the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, federally recognized tribes that have their current headquarters in Ignacio, Colorado and Towaoc, Colorado, respectively. These groups have historically lived in the southern and western portions of the state. In Denver Public Schools, we have over 1,000 Native students representing over 70 tribes. By acknowledging that we are on Native land, please recognize the students you are all called upon to support.
Special thanks to Rosie Molina for compiling this Land Acknowledgement. “It is important to understand the longstanding history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation.” Northwestern University.
We have taken feedback from students and teachers and are providing a five minute break between the two live synchronous classes each afternoon. Therefore, your periods 1 and 2 will begin promptly at 11:15 instead of 11:20 and end at 12:45 instead of 12:50 each day to give you that 5 minute break before you log into period 3 and 4. Your teachers will be able to answer any questions you may have about this shift.
And one last note, please remember it is very important to exercise your right to vote. Commanders, your vote is your voice! Please drop off of those ballots or go out to the polls safely on November 3rd.
As always, Commanders, we are STRONGER TOGETHER, so send me your feedback, and have a Commander kind of week!
She, her, hers and why they matter