It is important to recognize and honor that we are on the traditional territories and ancestral homelands of the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Ute nations in what is now called Denver, Colorado. The confluence of the Platte and Cherry Creek Rivers where the Auraria campus is now located, was the epicenter for numerous activities for over forty-five Indigenous Nations, including the Lakota, Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Shoshone, Paiute, Zuni, and Hopi, among others. The painful history of genocide and forced removal of Indigenous peoples from this territory demands that we pay respect and give reparations. Indigenous peoples are the original stewards of this land, they still have ties here, and they should be able to thrive here. Wherever we are, however we gather, it is our responsibility to recognize and address our roles in ongoing forms of colonization.
It is also important to acknowledge that the Auraria campus’ establishment – and its continued existence today – was only made possible through the forced removal of the Auraria neighborhood’s predominately Latinx residents and the demolition of community that those residents created and fought to save. While the Displaced Aurarian Scholarship is one step toward reparations, this history demands that we pay respect and work toward recompense.