Land Acknowledgement

At Cheley Colorado Camps, we have a deep and abiding respect and care for the natural world. The joy of being outside and in nature is one of the highest joys that humanity can possess; therefore, it is within our responsibility to understand the long-standing history of these lands and waters and to seek to understand our place within that history.

Cheley Colorado Camps acknowledges, with respect, that the land we are on today is on the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Ute (Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱), and Eastern Shoshone peoples. Our properties – Land O’Peaks, Trail’s End Ranch for Boys and for Girls, the Outpost, and Pierson – were also a place of trade, gathering, and healing for numerous other Native tribes.

We are conscious of and saddened by the exclusions and erasures of Indigenous peoples that resulted in our being on stolen land. While the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851 and 1861) and Cession 426 promised friendship, it elicited the displacement of people with the forced removal from their lands. Despite these atrocities, the continued cultural vibrancy, resilience, and traditions live on with Indigenous communities today.

At Cheley Colorado Camps, we honor with gratitude the legacy and the history of these tribes – past, present, and future. We also recognize the contributions Indigenous peoples have made, both in shaping and strengthening our community in particular and our state and country as a whole. Friendship Circle was originally based on circular gatherings, which are deeply rooted in the traditional practices of several First Nations (e.g. healing circles). Chipeta is a namesake from the wife of Ouray – the chief of the Tabeguache (Uncompahgre) band of the Ute tribe – who Frank Cheley greatly admired for being outspoken and lobbying for her people’s rights. Additionally, in Arapaho, Haiyaha means “big rocks.”

This acknowledgment, brief and in no way complete, demonstrates a commitment toward the healing of these lands and waters and is a step toward reconciliation with these Native communities. We call on our peers in the Summer Camp industry and in our community to join us in acknowledging the Indigenous peoples as original stewards of this land. As we enjoy the privilege and beauty of these lands and waters, we must continue to recognize their significance to the people who came before us and those that are still here today.

Native american.
Chief Wankon teaching a Cheley camper archery.

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