Skip to Content

University of Denver Task Force on Native American Inclusivity

Back to Article Listing


Rebecca Chopp

Letter  •

We are very pleased to announce the creation of a task force that will address Native American inclusivity at the University of Denver. The genesis of this task force lies in the events and conversations that the University participated in last year, the 150th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre.
The task force includes the following members:

  • Billy Stratton, co-chair, Assistant Professor, Department of English
  • David Greenberg, co-chair, Vice Chancellor for Institutional Partnerships
  • Ramona Beltran, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Beth Karlsgodt, Associate Professor, Department of History
  • Linda Kosten, Associate Provost, Office of Planning, Budget, and Analysis
  • Christina Kreps, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
  • Johanna Leyba, Assistant Provost, Center for Multicultural Excellence
  • Pat Livingston, Trustee
  • Nancy Wadsworth, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

To commemorate the Massacre, the University hosted lectures and poetry readings, helped to sponsor the Sand Creek Massacre Spiritual Healing Run, and had a group of faculty members produce a report on John Evans. These events and the Massacre they recall exist in a broader context of atrocities this country has perpetrated against Native peoples and the struggle of Native peoples and cultures today.

The work of the University includes the mission of healing as well as creating and supporting a world in which such atrocities will never occur again. It is time for the University to discuss next steps, especially initiatives that will support our Native students, faculty and staff members, and alumni. The University needs to serve the public good in service to and in partnership with Native communities.
We have asked the University of Denver Task Force on Native American Inclusivity to recommend "next steps" for the University to adopt formally. We hope that the task force will address three questions:

  1. How can we support Native students enrolled at the University of Denver?
  2. What are the ways in which we might fulfill our mission to serve the public good relative to Native communities?
  3. How might we expand our education efforts to encourage students to make ethical decisions, to respect those who are different from them, to remember the past, and to shape a future in which healing is experienced and where atrocities do not recur in this land or elsewhere?

Please join us in thanking the task force members for participating in this important work for the University. Please also participate in this conversation yourselves as members of the University of Denver community.

Rebecca S. Chopp, Chancellor
Gregg Kvistad, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor