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The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Fight for Hughes Land

people talk to each other
Christinia Eala, an activist for Native American rights, talks with other demonstrators at the A biker at the Maxwell Natural Area Aug. 22 passes signs placed by the Intertribal Alliance for Right Relations. Demonstrators and activists were at the trailhead to explain the history of the Hughes land and their hope for it to be used as a gathering place for Indigenous people. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian) on Aug. 22. Elea and other activists envision the land that used to be the site for Hughes Stadium serving as a gathering place for Indigenous people, but Colorado State University is currently planning to develop housing and other facilities on the land. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

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As part of Ram Welcome, Colorado State University had an event to hike to “The A” from the Maxwell Natural Area. Upon their arrival, first-year students were met by demonstrators for the Intertribal Alliance for Right Relations for Hughes Land Back. This gathering focused on the future of the Hughes Stadium site.


Currently, Colorado State University owns the land, despite efforts by the City to purchase the site and make it public land, due to a vote last November. The land is to be developed into housing and other facilities for CSU faculty and students. The demonstrators at Maxwell Natural Area, which neighbors the Hughes site, have a different vision for how the land should be used. They are seeking to get the land returned to Indigenous people who have historically used it. Under Indigenous care, the land could serve as a gathering place for Native Americans. Christinia Eala was one of the demonstrators and has been an activist for Native American rights for nearly 40 years.

“What we would like is to have a gathering place out here, where we can come together as community,” Eala said. She envisions a center where Native Americans from Larimer County and Native American students at CSU could engage with their community, have meals and host presentations from Indigenous people from across the country. Such a center is not possible under the current plans CSU has for the Hughes land, so the Intertribal Alliance for Right Relations for Hughes Land Back sought to get the word out about the Land Back Movement to the large groups of first-year students coming to hike to The A.

Andy Nelson, the assistant director of outdoor programs at Campus Recreation, helped coordinate the hiking activity. He said he was excited to have Hughes Land Back around because it exposed students to “these local issues and challenges that we have as a community, especially as it relates to CSU and Land Back and equity as it relates to Native populations.”

Before embarking on the hike, many students stayed at the trailhead and listened to the demonstrators explain the Land Back Movement and their vision for the Hughes site. Lydia Lerma, another demonstrator at the event, said, “We hope that the CSU Board of Trustees and Regents will consider giving this land back to the rightful, original stewards.”

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About the Contributors
Luke Bourland
Luke Bourland, Photo Director
Luke Bourland is a history major from Durham, Connecticut. Bourland is studying history in hopes of going to law school in the fall 2022 semester after graduation. In terms of which law school Bourland wants to go to, he likes to joke, "I will attend anywhere that'll have me!" Bourland has been taking pictures recreationally for most of his life but did not officially join The Collegian until the beginning of his sophomore year in 2019. Bourland originally joined The Collegian to develop his skills and to photograph out of his comfort zone. During his time at The Collegian, Bourland has held positions such as freelance photographer, media archivist, assistant photo editor, photo editor and finally, photo director. As the photo director, it is Bourland's job to make sure the paper is accompanied with beautiful pictures alongside the photo editor. Bourland has photographed events ranging from speeches and galas to football and basketball games. In his free time, Bourland is an avid golfer, fly-fisherman and still loves to take pictures recreationally. Differing from the style of photography at The Collegian, Bourland enjoys slowing down and shooting landscapes and portraits on film. Bourland first learned how to develop film with a friend in the bathrooms of Corbett Hall, stuffing towels under the doors to avoid any light leaking in. No matter where life takes Bourland, he hopes that photography will always be there along the ride.  
Devin Cornelius
Devin Cornelius, Digital Managing Editor
Devin Cornelius is the digital managing editor for The Collegian. He is a fifth-year computer science major from Austin, Texas. He moved to Colorado State University and started working for The Collegian in 2017 as a photographer. His passion for photography began in high school, so finding a photography job in college was one of his top priorities. He primarily takes sports photos, volleyball being his favorite to shoot. Having been on The Collegian staff for 4 1/2 years, he's watched the paper evolve from a daily to a weekly paper, and being involved in this transition is interesting and exciting. Although Cornelius is a computer science major, his time at The Collegian has been the most fulfilling experience in his college career — he has loved every second. From working 12-hour days to taking photos in Las Vegas for the Mountain West Conference, he cannot think of a better place to work. Working as a photographer for The Collegian pushed him outside of his comfort zone, taking him places that he never expected and making him the photographer he is today. As the digital managing editor, Cornelius oversees the photos, graphics and social media of The Collegian along with other small tech things. Working on the editorial staff with Katrina Leibee and Serena Bettis has been super fun and extremely rewarding, and together they have been pushing The Collegian toward being an alt-weekly. Outside of The Collegian, he enjoys playing volleyball, rugby, tumbling and a variety of video games. When in Austin, you can find him out on the lake, wake surfing, wake boarding and tubing. You can expect that Cornelius and the rest of The Collegian staff will do their best to provide you with interesting and exciting content.

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