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About Us

What We Do

Four Winds is a source of community for Denver Native Americans, providing resources to meet cultural and physical needs while activating our community members to fight for political change.

We work for the physical, spiritual, political, community, economic, and social liberation of all Indigenous Peoples and lands. Our goal is to create a strong, healthy, unified, and self-determining Native American community in Denver.


Four Winds American Indian Council is an American Indian "liberated zone" located in the heart of Denver, Colorado, in the original territories of the Cheyenne, Arapaho and Ute Nations. By "liberated zone" we mean that Four Winds is a facility where indigenous peoples are free to use the buildings for Native empowerment, without apology or explanation to the settler society that now surrounds us. The consequence of over two centuries of US colonizing policy is that nearly 70% of Native people have been displaced from their traditional territories and now live in urban areas, such as Denver, and are in the bottom of every socio-economic indicator in the United States. Four Winds was founded in the 1980s as a breakwater against the flood of assimilation and historical amnesia for indigenous youth and the broader community in Denver. Four Winds is one place in Denver where Native people can speak their languages, participate in their ceremonies, strategize and organize for their liberation, and rebuild an empowered community. Four Winds is based in an old church and parsonage, previously owned and run by the Lutheran Church. We have transformed the church's previous usages of conversion and assimilation to a vision of Indigenous liberation and self-determination. Our efforts are advanced by many projects, including our Indigenous Permaculture Garden Project, and our Homeless Survival Program. We are also the only space in Denver that is available to Indigenous community members free-of-charge for memorials, funerals, and wakes. In addition, our work is supported by a variety of community partnerships and collaborations with Native organizations. progressive non-Native organizations, and educational institutions. ​ For more than 25 years, our community occupied the buildings where we gathered on a rent-free basis in cooperation with the Rocky Mountain Lutheran Church Synod Council. Relationships were built, and respect for each others' histories and cultures developed. In 2015, the decision was made by the Synod Council to return the land where the Native community gathers to Four Winds American Indian Council. This rare return of land to Native Peoples is historic - not only in Denver and in Colorado, but in all of North America. At the ceremony where the official transfer of title took place, the Lutherans acknowledged that "the land had never really belonged to [us] in the first place." Four Winds takes the Native mandate seriously to make decisions today based on "how they will affect the next Seven Generations ." Four Winds continually strives to hold the Seventh Generation Principle at the core of our values, mission, and projects.

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