As we head into the Thanksgiving Break, we want to share our deep gratitude for our students, families, teachers, staff, board and community partners. We truly have so much to be thankful for, and we know that the ongoing success of Animas High School doesn't happen without the authentic engagement and dedication of all involved. Families--be sure to check out the Staff Appreciation Lunch letter to find ways to share your gratitude for our teachers and staff. Thank you all for contributing to our thriving school community!
This year, we are particularly grateful to spend our first fall semester in our beautiful new Nest on the Fort Lewis College campus. Our partnership with Fort Lewis continues to grow in exciting ways, and we are better for it. Just last night, Al Wolfe from the FLC Diversity Collaborative facilitated a diversity, equity and inclusion training for our Board of Directors. While we pride ourselves on creating an inclusive community that uplifts multiple perspectives and fosters belonging, we recognize this work is ongoing and there are always ways we can grow.
The Thanksgiving holiday falls during Native American Heritage Month, which can foster important and complex conversations about history and representation. The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian has some helpful resources to dig into around this. FLC's student body includes representation from 177 Native American tribes and Alaska Native villages; nearly half of FLC students identify as Indigenous. We have adopted the college's practice of sharing a land acknowledgement at the start of NEST Meetings and share it with you here today as a timely reminder of the history of this beautiful place and the people who have inhabited it.
We acknowledge the land that Animas High School is situated upon is the ancestral land and territory of the Nuuchiu (Ute) people who were forcibly removed by the United States Government. We also acknowledge that this land is connected to the communal and ceremonial spaces of the Jicarilla Abache (Apache), Pueblos of New Mexico, Hopi Sinom (Hopi), and Diné (Navajo) Nations. It is important to acknowledge this setting because the narratives of the lands in this region have long been told from dominant perspectives, without full recognition of the original land stewards who continue to inhabit and connect with this land. Thank you for your attention and respect in acknowledging this important legacy.