El Centro de Muchos Colores

What is The Real History of Americas Event?

Real History of the Americas 9th Annual event held on FLC's inaugural Indigenous Peoples' Day

Monday, Oct. 10, 2016 at Fort Lewis College

DURANGO - A collaborative group of Fort Lewis College cultural centers, students and staff proudly presents the 9th annual “Real History of the Americas” program on Indigenous People’s Day 2016. This unique program runs all day beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, October 10, at FLC’s Student Union Ballroom. The potluck and performances are held at 5 to 7 p.m. A culminating evening show by a band to be determined will be at the Community Concert Hall beginning at 7:30 p.m. The public is welcome anytime throughout the day.

The Real History of the Americas takes a positive, but different look at the history of North and South America from the viewpoints of Hispanic, African-American, Asian, Native and LGBT peoples, among others. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day” prompted the formal resolutions passed by FLC and the City of Durango to recognize Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in perpetuity. Now in its 9th year, the Real History of the Americas celebration seeks to increase awareness and appreciation of the cultures and histories of sometimes marginalized peoples.

The 2016 confirmed guests include Representative Joe Salazar, Dr. Iris Pretty Paint, Artist Chip Thomas, and the world renowned Canadian band A Tribe Called RedIn addition to our guests, this all-day long event offers workshops, inspirational identity activities with Common Ground, live dance performances by Ballet Folklorico de Durango, presentations by Miss Hozhoni Royalty, and much more.

For a full calendar of events, please visit the Real History of the Americas tab at: www.fortlewis.edu/elcentro, or call El Centro de Muchos Colores Hispanic Resource Center at (970) 247-7654.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Real History of the Americas?

The Real History of the Americas takes a positive, but different look at the history of North and South America from the viewpoints of Hispanic, African-American, Asian, and Native peoples the LGBT community, among others. Real History of the Americas was created in 2008 by Native American, Hispanic and Multicultural students on campus to empower and share a variety of Real Histories of the Americas on the day that is also known as Columbus Day or the Day of the Race in the United States.  For more information about why we celebrate this Real History of the Americas, please see this interview on Democracy Now! When Amy Goodman interview some of our key founders of the event: http://www.democracynow.org/shows/2012/10/8.

Who are the special guests for 2016?

Dr. Iris Pretty Paint: With over 30 years of experience as an educator and researcher, Dr. PrettyPaint is the leading authority on cultural resilience, student retention, and indigenous evaluation with American Indian and Alaska Native Communities. PrettyPaint says: “I am interested in the kind of research that empowers students, improves programs and honors the intellectual wisdom of our elders.” She will provide the keynote address on Indigenous Peoples’ Day as well as lead an afternoon workshop.



A Tribe Called Red: This Canadian electronic music group blends instrumental hip hop, reggae, moombahton and dubstep-influenced dance music with elements of First Nations music, particularly vocal chanting and drumming. The group's music has been described as "powwow-step", a style of contemporary powwow music for urban First Nations in the dance club scene. Links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-mkhCeGH_M and http://atribecalledred.com/bio/


Representative Joe Salazar: (D-Thornton) is a Colorado native whose Spanish and indigenous roots in Colorado go back hundreds of years. He was the criminal investigator for the State of Colorado before attending law school where he was awarded the “Subject Matter Expert” certification in the area of civil rights. In April, 2016, he unsuccessfully introduced legislation (HB-1135) that would have repealed Columbus Day as a state-recognized holiday in Colorado. In interviews with the media, he cited FLC’s name change and student leader Ruthie Edd as part of his inspiration for advocating for change. http://cohousedems.com/joe-salazar


Chip Thomas: For the past 26 years, physician Chip Thomas has treated patients at a low-cost clinic on the Navajo Nation – but his greatest contribution may be his artwork. Thomas' building-size black-and-white portraits of the people (Dine) adorn water tanks, abandoned barns, and any other surface he can find throughout the 27,400-mile Navajo Nation. Thomas will be installing one of his murals on campus to commemorate FLC’s first Indigenous Peoples’ Day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=686ijgStAFs


Evangeline Parsons Yazzie, EDD: Professor Emeritus of Navajo at Northern Arizona University. Dr. Parsons Yazzie obtained an MA in Bilingual Multicultural Education and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from NAU, and is an author, storyteller and activist to perserve her culture. Evangeline is a Navajo woman, originally from the community of Hardrock on the Navajo Reservation. As a means of acknowledging and honoring her deceased parents for their gift of language, culture-knowledge, and Navajo teachings, Evangeline teaches and writes on the behalf of elders, and encourages others to honor their elders.


Who organizes Real History of the Americas?

FLC student leaders Shawn Rico and Ruthie Edd have co-coordinated the upcoming 9th annual RHOA with the help of dozens of student clubs, volunteers and FLC staff members. RHOA committee members for 2016-17 include: Ruthie Edd, Shawn Rico, Courtney Collins, Deionna Vigil, Stacy John, Bryan Dalla-Cundiff; with staff members Charles Leslie, Shirena Trujillo Long, Nancy Stoffer, and Joey Dell; and faculty member Kay Holmes.  College sponsors include: Club del Centro & El Centro, Common Ground Diversity Programming, Student Union Productions (SUP), Native American Center, Prism, and the Community Concert Hall.


What is Indigenous People’s Day? Across the country, cities and universities are declaring Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The City of Durango passed the resolution on Jan. 5, 2016, and the full resolution can be seen at: http://www.durangogov.org/documentcenter/view/6088/. At FLC, the Associated Students of FLC (ASFLC) and the Board of Trustees formally approved their resolutions in the academic year 2015-16

When is the Real History of the Americas?

Fall 2016 - Monday, Oct. 10th 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at FLC Student Union Ballroom; 7:30 p.m. Spotlight concert at Community Concert Hall also at FLC.

10:00                            Opening Prayer & Welcome: “Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day”

10:30                             Storytelling: “Our Real Histories”

Includes history of Real History of the Americas event; FLC and City of  Durango renaming Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day; Indigenous Peoples’ Day Proclamation Reading; and more!

11:30 am                          Multicultural Potluck: “Food- the International Language”

Noon-1:00 pm                   Keynote address: “Finding Hope from the Inside Out” Dr. Iris PrettyPaint

1:00-1:30 pm                    Student Talent Showcase & Break

1:45-4:00 pm                     Workshops: “Alternative Voices”

Participants will choose two one-hour workshops to attend with special guests Chip Thomas, Dr. Iris PrettyPaint, Evangeline Parsons Yazzie, and others.

4:30 pm                              Mural Dedication ceremony & Closing (located on North Side of Mears Apartment Complex)

5:00-7:00 pm                      Dinner break (on your own)

7:30 pm                               “A Tribe Called Red” Live Performance at Community Concert Hall, www.durangoconcerts.com


Please Check back to this website for updates often as the Real History of the Americas committee finalizes the details of this year's theme: "Celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day" at FLC, or friend us on Facebook!




The Real History of the Americas '13

A Special Thanks To...

Coordinators of 2016 Real History

Staff Members Nancy Stoffer, Charles Leslie, Shirena Long, and Joey Dell
Faculty Member Kay Holmes

Colllege Sponsors

Club del Centro & El Centro, Common Ground Diversity Programming, Student Union Productions (SUP), Native American Center, Prism, and the Community Concert Hall
RHOA Co-Coordinator

Shawn Rico

RHOA Co-Coordinator Ruthie Edd

RHOA Committee members

Ruthie Edd, Stacy John, Shawn Rico, Courtney Collins, Deionna Vigil, Bryan Dalla-Cundiff