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Heritage Month elicits proclamations and celebrations in Denver

DENVER — Mayor John Hickenlooper will issue a proclamation for American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month in November that recognizes Native achievements, city officials said.

The mayor’s office and other city agencies will also note the tenth annual Sand Creek Spiritual Healing Run/Walk Nov. 25-27 by the Northern Cheyenne Sand Creek Descendents, Montana, and others, beginning at the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in southeastern Colorado and ending at the state capitol in Denver.

The healing run commemorates the massacre of some 200 Northern and Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho people at a peace camp on Sand Creek by U.S. Cavalry volunteer militia in 1864.

Other city, state, and private events this year may be held in connection with Native American Heritage Day Nov. 28, proclaimed by Congress “to honor the achievements and contributions of Native Americans” and to be held the Friday after Thanksgiving each year.

The Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs in partnership with the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute tribal nations is presenting a Celebration Contest Powwow: Ute Bear Dance Demonstration and Community Feed Nov. 15 in connection with American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. Denver Indian Center will hold its Veterans Day Powwow Nov. 8.

The Office of Surface Mining Regulation and Enforcement in Denver will hear a presentation on historical trauma by Dr. Carolyna Smiley, Hispanic/Tewa, and other Department of the Interior agencies will sponsor events in connection with Heritage Month.

The Denver American Indian Commission announced a new Web site on Native resources and services in the metro area in connection with Heritage Month. Larry Left Hand Bull, DAIC chair, said the site “is absolutely critical in bringing our people into the digital age” and is a “tool to bridge the divide that has historically separated us.”

Other events in November include Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s First Nations Film and Video festival Nov. 13 to celebrate the works of Natives in film and video that “break racial stereotypes and promote awareness of contemporary Native American issues and society,”

Rocky Mountain public broadcasting system has announced documentaries on Native themes in November, and Denver Public Library customarily observes the month. Other celebrations will be held by state and federal agencies and by Native organizations.