The Land We Are On
The land that is currently known as Bluff Lake Nature Center, at Martin Luther King Jr Blvd and Havana, in the county and city of Denver, in the State of Colorado, is ancestral territory of the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Ute (Núu-agha-t
uv u-p u) and Sioux (Očhéthi Šakówiŋ) Peoples. The Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851), the Treaty of Fort Wise (1861), and Cession 426 promised friendship, but resulted in the displacement of these peoples and the taking of their land. As the current caretakers of this land, we strive to support all of our human, animal, and plant life.
We believe it is important to acknowledge the indigenous lands in order to make clear that we were not the first people here and to provide exposure and an learning opportunity for individuals who may have never heard the names of the tribes that have and continue to live and learn from the land they are standing on. Acknowledging the land is also an indigenous/tribal protocol and the practice establishes a respectful routine and habit of supporting reconciliation.
“Hello relatives Native and non-Native. My name is Jacob Reta, my Native American Tigua name is Bearfoot or Foot of the Bear. I am Tigua Pueblo from the village of Tortugas. I am the Site Manager here at Bluff Lake Nature Center. As a traditional man I take honor in my position here at BLNC. This means I am trusted as the caretaker of the land. I do this in respect to the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Sioux, and Ute tribes whose ancestors used to occupy these lands here in Colorado. Thank you for this honor.”