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On January 15, 2017, I gathered with a group of community members in the Boulder Friends Meetinghouse to watch Two Rivers. Through the film’s showcase of efforts toward Native American reconciliation in Washington State, the seed for Right Relationship Boulder (RRB) was planted. It would soon bloom into a movement bigger than any of the attendees could have imagined.

Since 2018, Philanthropiece has served a key strategic partner and the fiscal sponsor for RRB. We have worked to coordinate the formation of five working groups, countless retreats and meetings, partnerships with municipalities and school districts, and a series of Indigenous People’s Day celebrations with a focus on the Welcome the Hinono’ei People Home event.

a woman stands in front of a banner that says "indigenous people's day boulder CO." She is reading from a piece of paper and speaking into a microphone.

Jerilyn DeCoteau speaks at the a Welcome the Hinono’ei People Home event. Photo credit: Rich Saxon.

In autumn of 2018, just weeks before this event, our Executive Director Katie Doyle Myers wrote the following in “In the In-Between: Witnessing RRB Grow From Event to Movement:” 

As we have been considering who we are and what we do at Philanthropiece, I can’t help but reflect on our role in RRB. We’ve cultivated relationships and worked together with friends and fellow changemakers to co-create an initiative that we anticipate will lead to wellbeing in our community and beyond . . . This is what a movement looks like. This is a living chronology, one that grows and breathes.

Since then, RRB has continued to blossom. Just this month, they launched a new mission statement.

white text on purple background that says: "We are Boulder-area residents, friends and allies dedicating efforts and resources to Indigenous peoples and issues. We seek to learn, support and lead efforts to facilitate and create contemporary opportunities while attending to historical inequities that persist today. We do so within principles of right relationship with Indigenous peoples, other organizations and local governments."

This vision is the result of hard conversations, intentional listening, and questioned beliefs. After witnessing it all, I can’t help but reflect that organizations are built in much the same way that relationships are:

Every step we take feels small. Every coffee meeting; or email sent; or newsletter sign up seems to flutter unceremoniously off of the to-do list. But when we take a moment to look back, we realize that we have built something new, big, and beautiful. 

a whitebord that says "Right Relationship Boulder" points an arrow towards an open door. Inside, we can see people gathered in front of a projector screen.

A snapshot from a monthly RRB meeting

Relationships foster connection, improve lives, strengthen community, and ultimately right injustice. Philanthropiece lives that truth every day, now more than ever. Strong relationships mean that when the going gets tough, we don’t turn away from each other or compete for power. We reunite, replenish, and rebuild.

Slow, compounding growth is at the heart of all that Philanthropiece does, and is evidenced in our work with RRB.  Philanthropiece unfailingly looks back on each year of RRB with pride and awe. With all this forward momentum, who knows what we will create next?


Raye Watson is Philanthropiece’s Design and Communications Consultant and has served as a designer and photographer for RRB.
If you are interested in contributing to RRB’s goals and visions, follow the Right Relationship Boulder Facebook page or register for an RRB workshop at  this year’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration, taking place virtually October 9-12, 2020.