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Starts: September 05th, 2018 11:30 AM
Ends: September 05th, 2018 12:30 PM
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September: CCIA, DAIC

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As Executive Director for the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs (CCIA), Ernest maintains the communication between the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe, and other American Indian organizations, state agencies and affiliated groups. Ernest works

closely with Governor John Hickenlooper, Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne, and the CCIA members to maintain a government-to- government relationship between the State of Colorado and tribal governments. The CCIA is an eleven member commission, chaired by the Lt. Governor Lynne and comprised of both Ute Tribes, their appointees and several state department representatives and ex-officio members. Ernest represents the CCIA at various federal and state public policy meetings and provides legislative and government-related

information to community stakeholders.

Since 2004, Darius Lee Smith (Navajo/Black) has served as the Director of the Denver Anti-Discrimination Office where he facilitates resolution of civil rights discrimination complaints by utilizing the Indigenous form of “Peacemaking”: resolving conflict/disputes by using common sense principals and encouraging ethical settlements. Darius also proudly provides staff support to the Denver American Indian and African American Commissions.   

He prides himself as being a civil right advocate and is quick to help individuals who need help navigating governmental administrative systems.  Since 2010, he has served on the planning committee of the Pathways to Respecting American Indian Civil Rights Annual Conference and he has taught Contemporary American Indian Studies at the University of Colorado Denver.

Darius frequently speaks on the topic of American Indian as Mascots and the negative effects it has on the self-esteem and self-determination of Native people.  He is health conscious and enjoys running and occasionally finds the time to participate in organized races and sporting events.

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