When you enter the Engineering Center, you’ll notice a new flourish of murals blending together science, art and Indigenous culture.
Denver-based award-winning artist and activist, Danielle SeeWalker — Húŋkpapȟa Lakȟóta and citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota — is the creative force behind these two beautiful artistic pieces.
This endeavor was in close collaboration with the College of Engineering and Applied Science and the campus’ Cultural Events Board (CEB), whose focus was on honoring the Native and Indigenous community through art across CU Boulder.
“I wanted to have a distinct Native American representation in the building,” said SeeWalker, “and really have it be centered around the Indigenous students so they can feel represented and proud.”
With the help of the CEB, the most important step SeeWalker took in the early stages of planning was to meet with Indigenous students and faculty members and hear how they wanted to be represented.
Kaylan Madrid (AeroEngr'25), a member of the CU Boulder's American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) chapter reflected on the murals, "to me it encapsulates the link between Indigenous means of knowledge and Western science."
"Many Western technologies rely on Indigenous traditions and technologies," said Madrid. "For example, printed circuit boards relied on Navajo/Dine textile weavers who were adept at layering, which is the basis for the layering composite of printed circuit boards."
From there, SeeWalker incorporated their collective ideas along with her own vision and started to sketch out some designs, ultimately landing with the murals — “Indigenous Knowledge” and “Buffalo Nation”.
Charles Ferrer caught up with SeeWalker about the creative process and her thoughts on CU Boulder Engineering’s latest murals.