"We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, but borrow it from our children."
-Native American Proverb
The land our campus was built on has a history of cultural displacement. The ESIL program acknowledges this and stands alongside those in their efforts for equity, inclusion, and recognition.
"Acknowledging that we reside in the homelands of Indigenous Peoples is an important step in recognizing the history and the original stewards of these lands. Land acknowledgements must extend far beyond words, the United States has worked hard to erase the narratives of Indigenous Peoples over time however, land acknowledgments serve in a small way to remind us of the history, the contributions and the sacrifices Native peoples have made and continue to make.
We honor and acknowledge that we are on the traditional territories and ancestral homelands of the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Ute nations. This area, specifically, the confluence of the Platte and Cherry Creek Rivers was the epicenter for trade, information sharing, planning for the future, community/family and ally building, as well as conducting healing ceremonies for over 45 Indigenous Nations, including the Lakota, Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Shoshone, Paiute, Zuni, Hopi and many others.
We must recognize Indigenous peoples as the original stewards of this land and as these words are spoken and heard, remember the ties these nations still have to their traditional homelands. Let us acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory and pay our respect to the diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land. Let us give thanks to all Tribal Nations and the ancestors of this place." -Grace Redshirt Tyon
The Environmental Stewardship of Indigenous Lands (ESIL) certificate is an exciting new educational opportunity at the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver), where the term Indigenous includes Native American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Hawaiian Native. This first-of-its-kind program provides training, internships, and job placement opportunities for students interested in environmental issues involving tribal and non-tribal entities.
The ESIL certificate provides a unique training opportunity for students to combine a passion for protecting natural resources with a desire to communicate across diverse cultures and schools of thought. We hope you will join us in this exciting educational opportunity!
The mission of the ESIL program is to broaden participation of Indigenous students in STEM through education and community partnerships that promote healing and stewardship of Native land.
Jackson Obsorn, Engineering, at graduation (2017)
American Indian Student Services booth at a campus event