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The New American Indian Law Clinic Table

June 22, 2007

The Power of the Circle

The American Indian Law Clinic and artist, Larry Desjarlais (Turtle Mountain Chippeway) have created a design for a beautiful table in the law school's Kiva Conference Room.

This table has high significance, due to the fact that American Indians believe that the Power of the World always works in circles and everything tries to be round. The symbols in the table design (see photo below) represent the wide scope of American Indian law studied and taught at Colorado Law, as well as honors our special relationship to the tribes with which our American Indian Law Program has worked with directly.

The Program studies and works with two resident Colorado tribes, the Southern Ute Tribe and the Ute Mountain Tribe, more than 40,000 American Indians residing in Colorado, as well as Native American tribes, and Alaska Native villages across the United States.

Black Elk Speaks of the Oglala Sioux explained, “In the old days when we were a strong and happy people, all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation and so long as the hoop was unbroken the people flourished.”

The turtle on the table is for the Northern Arapahoe and many tribes represent the source of life. The buffalo symbolizes not only the plains tribes for which this area is a historical migratory crossroads, but also the University of Colorado. The bear is the sacred symbol of the Ute Tribes. Finally, the salmon represents of the Northwest, Northeast, and Native Alaska tribes.

“Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood and so it is in everything where power moves…," declared Black Elk Speaks.

The American Indian Law Program and Clinic are deeply grateful to Council Tree Lodge for its generous support of the Program and for making this incredible meeting space possible.

The new American Indian Law Clinic table