A pledge to remember that Denver sits on stolen land will now follow the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ at city council meetings

Councilwoman Jamie Torres sponsored the official government gesture.
2 min. read
Ute women in 1899. From left, in front, are Tachiar, A-Pat-We-Ma, and Ta-Nah. From left, in the back, are Ce-Gie-Che-Ok and To-Wee.
(Rose & Hopkins/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/H-442)

Each week, the Denver City Council asks everyone in attendance to pledge their loyalty to "one nation under God," a place also known as the United States. Now they'll remind everyone that the United States, Denver included, was home first to the Ute, Cheyenne and Arapaho people.

The council unanimously passed a resolution Monday that ensures each legislative meeting will include the land acknowledgment after the pledge. It goes a little something like this:

"The Denver City Council honors and acknowledges that the land on which we reside is the traditional territory of the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Peoples. We also recognize the 48 contemporary tribal nations that are historically tied to the lands that make up the state of Colorado.

"We honor Elders past, present, and future, and those who have stewarded this land throughout generations. We also recognize that government, academic and cultural institutions were founded upon and continue to enact exclusions and erasures of Indigenous Peoples.

"May this acknowledgment demonstrate a commitment to working to dismantle ongoing legacies of oppression and inequities and recognize the current and future contributions of Indigenous communities in Denver."

Councilwoman Jamie Torres sponsored the official government gesture after seeing a similar acknowledgment in La Alma/Lincoln Park.

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