Colorado is home to Indigenous people from over 200 tribal nations including Cheyenne, Arapaho, Lakota, Navajo, Kiowa, Ute, and many others.
The 2010 Census documented 56,010 people identifying as American Indian / Alaska Native living in Colorado. 46,395 of those individuals were living in the Denver metro and Colorado Springs areas. Furthermore, 104,464 people identified as American Indian / Alaska Native alone or mixed with one or more other ethnic groups living in Colorado.
In an effort to document and preserve the histories around relocation and resilience, Colorado's Urban Indian Experience project is a collaborative endeavor between History Colorado and Indigenous communities where the communities will guide what they share. The primary goals include meeting with Indigenous peoples throughout urban areas of Colorado. The archive -- including oral histories, photographs and other items -- will be available to anyone interested in Colorado’s Urban Indian communities. It will offer a way to amplify and preserve these stories for future generations.
Do you have stories around you or your family members moving to Denver or other urban areas?
Where did your family move from and what were the impacts?
What is something you wish others in the community could hear through your own telling?
Copies of photographs, family papers, or objects that may help highlight your story are also welcome.
Colorado’s Urban Indian Experience is a continuation of ongoing community engagement by History Colorado. Our relationships are long-standing, and the result of community work including exhibits, advisory groups, collaboration on a National Science Foundation funded STEM grant with the Ute Tribes, and the implementation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and the Colorado State Process. For more information on our NAGPRA Program please visit here.
Tribal collaboration is also highlighted in the Written on the Land: Ute Voices, Ute History exhibit at History Colorado. To hear the perspectives of today’s Ute people, see a brief introduction here.
New projects with Colorado's urban Indian communities will also include in-depth consultations and celebrations.