Native American & Indigenous Education Programming

Land Acknowledgement

Recognizing DPS commitments to “Know Justice, Know Peace,” we, the educational community, place our minds and bodies in this space while acknowledging Indigenous relatives who have lived in and cared for this ancient Land from time immemorial.  We acknowledge the close relationship that Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute and Natives of (48) other Tribal Nations continue to have with the waters, plants, and all moving things that call this Land home. We pledge our respect for those enduring Indigenous connections to the place we now call Colorado.

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Equity Statement

Racial and Educational Equity is our collective responsibility. We will achieve equity when we dismantle deeply rooted systems of oppression that have historically resulted in inequitable access and distribution of opportunities and resources for those who represent marginalized identities, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, language and ability. We will create conditions where we all belong, are included, have clear purpose (why) and have the autonomy to lead in our respective areas. By creating these conditions, we will eliminate the predictability of success or failure for our students and team members.

In an effort to repair past harm and all the harm caused by settler colonialism, we are deeply committed to the following vision for our Native American and Indigenous programming:

To create a space where Native American and Indigenous Students and Families thrive, feel seen and valued for who they are, where their knowledge, wisdom and ways of being are centered, where we resist and counteract the values of settler colonialism and celebrate and promote traditional Native American and Indigenous values, virtues and beliefs; where students leave DCIS with a strong knowledge of self, culture, and community ready to fulfill their purpose. 

Steps we have taken so far to have a successful, supportive Native American and Indigenous Education Programming:

  1. Hired a Native American educator to teach Diné (Navajo) Language and Culture.
  2. Collaborating with the Latino Cultural Arts Center of Colorado for their Ofrenda and Mental Wellness Program.
  3. A team of our staff is engaged in professional learning to enhance our ways of being with the Native American and Indigenous community.
  4. An additional mental health team member, team lead, and Assistant Principal dedicated to making this vision a reality.

What success will look like at DCIS:

  • All staff will participate in family engagement events
  • Consistent Native and Indigenous Support team meetings with a form to monitor student and team progress. 
  • A clear referral process. 
  • Restoring the relationship within the Indigenous and Native Community.