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AAPIP/NAP Site Session Part 1- La Junta, Koshare Museum & Inspiration


Leaving Denver and the Council on Foundations conference, participants settled into a 3 hour trip to La Junta, Colorado. Along the way everyone shared a story about their name—it’s history or origin or what his/her name reflected about their family experience. In the process, a participant observed that the ice-breaker was really a composite history lesson in how Native people and Asian Americans have survived racism in the US.

Three hours and 3 video clips later (about the Japanese-American internment experience, as well as the Sand Creek Massacre) we arrived in La Junta in time to check-in to the local hotel before proceeding to the Koshare Indian Museum at Otero Junior College for a reception and program.

The program, organized by Carly Hare, of the Native American Rights Fund and a NAP Board member, featured presentations by 3 economic development initiatives in rural Colorado.  The reception was underwritten by the Anschutz Family Foundation; and we thank Jeff Pryor, Executive Director, for his support.

Opening remarks by Peggy Saika and Joy Persall, were a highlight of the program.  Both took the time to explain the significance of the site session for AAPIP and NAP, as each organization celebrates 20 years in philanthropy and in the community.

Peggy said that the session was neither “an Asian American story nor a Native American story, but a societal story; and that we’ve come together to look back in order to look forward … We, as a country, can do better.”

Joy added, “We have common interests … Our communities have both lost languages to varying degrees, and what a great opportunity we have to be allies to rebuild our communities. We’re all here today to learn with each other.”

» Watch a short, inspiring clip of Peggy and Joy’s welcoming remarks to start off the program.

» Also read Richard Woo’s guest post on Philanthropy411 for his observations as a participant:  Living History: Amache & Sand Creek

» View a gallery of photos on Flickr from Site Session –  Our Journey to Amache & Sand Creek