Commission to Study American Indian Representations in Public Schools

The Commission to Study American Indian Representations in Public Schools is a 15 member commission made up of representatives from federally recognized tribes, Colorado’s American Indian population, institutions of public education, state agencies, and community stakeholders. This Commission shall facilitate discussion around the use of American Indian imagery and names used by institutions of public education and develop recommendations for the Governor and the General Assembly regarding the future use of such imagery and names.

Press Release:

DENVER — Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today signed an Executive Order that creates a commission to study American Indian representations in public schools.

The Executive Order was inspired by some school districts in Colorado that have found constructive and collaborative ways to migrate away from ethnic caricatures and mascots without disrupting school traditions or incurring costs that detract from student learning. “In some cases, these districts have even found ways to use the debate over offensive mascots as an opportunity to educate students about our common history and bring diversity communities together,” the Executive Order says.

One of the goals of the commission is to host open, constructive public discussions among constituents statewide, in both urban and rural communities, who feel strongly connected with these names and images.

"This is an effort to bring people and communities together through dialogue about the issue of American Indian mascots,” said. Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia. “Open, honest dialogue, free from the threat of penalties, can result in new paths forward and avoid future deadlock."

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Executive Order:


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You may direct questions related to this Commission to Ernest House, Jr. at the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs at ernest.house@state.co.us.