Colorado College honors Ute ancestral homelands

Hanley Frost, Southern Ute Education Coordinator, greets everyone at the sunrise blessing of the newly named Tava Quad on Colorado College campus, Saturday, Oct. 12.
Samantha Maez and Junior Miss Ute Mountain Ute, Iyonia Pavisook explain the Jingle Dance to Colorado College classroom.
Davidson Lopez and the Battle Rock drum group (Ute Mountain Ute) sing for a class presentation as the rest of the group round dances.
Colorado College invited the Ute cultural dancers to tour the school’s Fine Arts Center with Polly Nordstrand; pictured weaving is Junior Miss Ute Mountain Ute, Iyonia Pavisook.
Southern Ute elder, Alden Naranjo speaks Thursday night at Indigenous Community Dinner. The Indigenous community honored the Ute tribes by renaming their school’s quad to Tava (Sun) Quad.
Ute Mountain Ute Brave, Leland Collins Jr. greets guest arriving at the homecoming performance.
Miss Southern Ute, Jazmine Carmenoros
Jr. Miss So uthern Ute Autumn Sage
Philman Lopez dances Northern Traditional, during the intertribal at the homecoming performance.
Eddie Box Jr. dances Southern Traditional.
Jerimet Hight dances Grass Dance style during the homecoming performance.
Betty Box and Eddie Box Jr. dance with the public during an intertribal dance at the homecoming performance.
Samantha Maez dances with her daughter, Maria Phillips, during the intertribal at the homecoming performance.
The Ute Dancers along with Battle Rock Drum Group (Ute Mountain Ute) join together for a picture with the Colorado College President, following the homecoming picnic.
Kree Lopez | SU Culture Dept.
Kree Lopez | SU Culture Dept.
Kree Lopez | SU Culture Dept.
Kree Lopez | SU Culture Dept.
Kree Lopez | SU Culture Dept.
Kree Lopez | SU Culture Dept.
Kree Lopez | SU Culture Dept.
Kree Lopez | SU Culture Dept.
Kree Lopez | SU Culture Dept.
Kree Lopez | SU Culture Dept.
Kree Lopez | SU Culture Dept.
Kree Lopez | SU Culture Dept.
Kree Lopez | SU Culture Dept.
Kree Lopez | SU Culture Dept.
Kree Lopez | SU Culture Dept.

The Colorado College in Colorado Springs honored the Ute ancestral homelands on which the campus sits by inviting: Dignitaries, Ute elders, Ute dancers and a drum group to this historical event, which included a traditional blessing of the Tava Quad by Sun Dance Chief, Hanley Frost. The Quad was originally named the Armstrong Quad. The name was renamed as an anti-racist initiative. Tava means “Sun” in Ute and is how the Utes identified the mountain known today as Pikes Peak.

Colorado College (CC) believes the naming of Tava Quad is both historic and significant. The Utes, who participated in the weekend of events, shared culture and knowledge with students and faculty. The College is working to become an anti-racist institution. Historically Colorado College has been a predominately white college, many policies and procedures have directly and indirectly favored white students, faculty and staff. The College is taking a stand to change policies and procedures that are harmful, as well as change their curriculum, so everyone can walk through the doors and feel that they can call CC home.

The Native and Indigenous community has described the naming of Tava Quad as a form of “healing.” CC would like the Ute tribes to work with them to create an endowed scholarship for Ute students. Right now, the college is engaged in raising $100 million in scholarships to provide access to more students from diverse backgrounds. The College would like to have more Ute communities be a part of the school’s future.

This event was a blessing, and an honor to be a part of. Colorado College is doing great things from addressing tuition costs to test exams, making sure Colorado students are successful at being a part of the CC Alumni going forward.

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