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Indigenous Peoples Day

Indigenous Peoples Day logo 2019

Indigenous Peoples Day 2020 Events

This year, the City of Boulder is celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day with a series of events to be held between Friday, Oct. 9, and Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. In addition to events being sponsored by the City, the schedule below includes events being held by local community organizations. The event is part of a national effort to recognize and honor the existence, culture, and contributions of the original inhabitants of North America. 

Friday, Oct. 9, 2020

10 a.m.: City of Boulder Office of Arts + Culture Professional Artist Forum in Celebration of Indigenous People's Day

In this special Indigenous People's Day Professional Artist Forum, we will be joined by printmaker, painter, sculptor, and CU Boulder professor Melanie Yazzie. Yazzie’s work draws upon her rich Diné (Navajo) cultural heritage. Her work follows the Diné dictum “walk in beauty” literally, creating beauty and harmony. In March, her sculpture entitled “Strength from Within” was added to the city’s public art collection and remains on view at the southwest corner of Pearl and 16th streets. Come to our Artist Forum to hear from Yazzie about her artistic practice, commune with fellow artists, and learn about resources and opportunities. Free and open to the public. RSVP required to Lauren Click, [email protected] .

7:30-9:30 p.m.: "Confluence" Film and Discussion (Right Relationship, their events are not COB funded)

Award-winning filmmaker Gwendolen Cates and Indigenous and Black activists explore the intersectionality and solidarity of the Black Lives Matter and Indigenous Rights movements. Register at:


Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020

10 a.m. – noon: Community Conversation: “Some Dance to Remember, Some Dance to Forget” (RR)  

Join placemaker Meg Walker and public artist Morey Bean to talk about the meaning of memorials like the Civil War Monument at the Boulder County Courthouse. Register at:

3-5 p.m.: “Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change: Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples (RR)

Experience the history of our country through the voices of Indigenous people, Euro-American colonists, and Western historians. Co-facilitated by Jerilyn DeCoteau (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) and Paula Palmer. Co-sponsored by Louisville Cultural Council. Register at:

5:30 p.m.: Flatirons Food Film Festival Dinner and a Movie Fundraiser: Gather

On Saturday, October 10th, the Festival will hold a two-part Festival film preview fundraiser in partnership with First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) and Slow Food Boulder County: Back to the Source: Reclaiming Native American Food Traditions. This event centers around Gather, a new documentary about a growing movement among Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual and cultural identities by obtaining sovereignty over their ancestral food systems. The eighth Festival in January will include Gather.

From 5:30-6:30pm, there will be a chef’s demo with Ben Jacobs of Tocabe, a Native American eatery with two locations in Denver. At 7pm, after a break, the Festival will show Gather, followed by a live panel discussion. The panel will include director Sanjay Rawal; Sammy Gensaw of the Yurok Tribe, Twila Cassadore of the San Carlos Apache, who are featured in the film; and A-dae Briones of First Nations.

Tocabe takeout dinners will be available for viewers to purchase and eat while watching the movie. Viewers can pick up their dinners from the Tocabe restaurant in North Denver (3536 West 44th Avenue, Denver) and at Savory Spice Shop’s Boulder location (2041 Broadway, Boulder). For the film program, participants will start watching and eating together at 7pm.

Viewers can purchase fundraiser tickets for $24, which include tickets for both the chef’s demo and film program, at

Viewers can also purchase tickets for $5 for only the chef’s demo at


Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020

10 a.m. - 12 p.m.:   "Supporting Native Artists and Dancers in Need: A Virtual Event" (Our Sustainable Future; funded by the HRC)

This event involves a collaboration with Native artists who will create regalia for Native children that cannot afford to make or purchase their own. This virtual event will be presented as a video that includes the stories of these artists and children.

Join virtual event:

1-3 p.m.:   “American Indian Youth Leadership Institute (AIYLI) Forum” (not funded by COB)

Meet and network with young leaders, discuss ideas to support our community members during the COVID-19 pandemic, and play a creative online game to win prizes. Register at:

4-6 p.m.: “Arapaho and Boulder Dialogue” (RR)

Learn what steps the City, the County, and the School District have taken and how the Arapaho people can be appropriately acknowledged and welcomed in their Boulder Valley homeland. Register at:


Monday, Oct. 12, 2020

10 a.m.-12 p.m.: " WÓOHITIKA" - Virtual Event (American Indian Science and Engineering Society Colorado Professional Chapter; funded by the HRC)

The Colorado Professional Chapter of AISES has provided Chromebooks to five youth who have been impacted by COVID-19 f and who live in tribal nations whose ancestral homelands Boulder now occupies. Using these Chromebooks, the youth have produced digital stories that will educate the broader community on the interpretation of Wóohitika (Courage) and these will be shared in his virtual presentation.

Join virtual event:

1:00-2:30 p.m.: City of Boulder IPD Panel

Join us for an engaging discussion of contemporary issues facing indigenous communities with a panel of distinguished leaders. These panelists will discuss such issues as natural resource concerns, the impact of COVID-19 , and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Crisis as well as the way forward for tribal communities.

Visit the Event Page for more information.

5:30-7 p.m.: Healing from Intergenerational Trauma” (RR)

Elicia Goodsoldier (Dine’/Spirit Lake Dakota) and her daughter Cante’ Waste Win Zephier (Good Hearted Woman) will speak about their healing work with Indigenous youth. Co-sponsored by Pendle Hill. Register at:



Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration 2016 from City of Boulder on Vimeo .

Indigenous Peoples Day

Indigenous Peoples Day is part of a national effort to recognize and honor the existence, culture and contributions of the original inhabitants of North America on the day that has for the past 82 years been observed as Columbus Day. 

picture of Chief Black Coal Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations have been adopted by cities and counties across the United States: Albuquerque, NM; Alpina, MI; Anadarko, OK; Berkeley, CA; Bexar County, TX; Lawrence, KS; Los Angeles, CA; Minneapolis, MN; Olympia, WA; Portland, OR; St. Paul, MN; Santa Cruz, CA; and Seattle, WA.

Locally, the City of Denver passed a one-year proclamation in 2015 replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day; this designation was made permanent the following year. 

In a 2016 report prepared by the Governor of Colorado’s Commission to Study American Indian Representation in Public Schools, commission Chair Clement Frost of the Southern Ute Tribe called for the state to “recognize the role of American Indians in Colorado’s history and to ensure that this history is taught comprehensively and accurately.”  1  At both a national and regional level, it is important to realign the public’s knowledge toward a more whole, realistic historical perspective and provide opportunities to share the stories, culture and history of the Indigenous Peoples of North America.

Indigenous Peoples Day in Boulder

A community-initiated project, with the assistance of Nikhil Mankekar, City of Boulder Human Relations Commissioner, drafted a resolution and worked to adopt Indigenous Peoples Day throughout 2016. The committee expressed a high-level of commitment to two objectives in the resolution process: First is a focus on the Boulder area and its significance to Native American culture. Second is an accurate history of Native interaction with the Europeans who arrived largely in the 19th century. In response to the committee’s proposal, a resolution was passed by City Council, including Mary Young, the City of Boulder Mayor pro tem, on Aug. 2, 2016 that officially recognizes Indigenous Peoples Day. 

Indigenous Peoples of North America 

The earliest known human inhabitants of Boulder, the Clovis people, left artifacts that date back to approximately 11,000 BCE. Archaeologists believe that they, along with their camels and other animals, congregated at a site along Gregory Creek. Yes, camels roamed around Boulder Valley at that time! In subsequent years, many Paleo-Indian cultures inhabited areas of present-day Colorado including the Anasazi. These ancestral Puebloans are known for their rich culture of architecture: cliff dwellings and pit houses; crafting: basket-making, pendants and bracelets; rock art; agriculture and trade.

Among contemporary tribes, the Ute migrated to Colorado from Utah sometime prior to the 1600s to hunt large herds of buffalo. They were followed by the Comanche in the 1700s and later by the Arapaho and Cheyenne along with several other indigenous groups. The following is a list of Indigenous Peoples of North America:

Ababco Aleut Arikara (Arikaree, Ree)
Abenaki/Abnakii Algonquian Family Arivaipa
Aberginian   Algonquin           Arkokisa
Abittibi  Allakaweah             Armouchiquois   
Abenaki (or Abnaki)   Alliklik  Arosaguntacook  
Absaroka/Apsaroke       Alsea/Alsi Ascahcutoner
Absentee  Amacano  Assateague           
Accohanoc            Amahami            Assegun  
Accominta/Agamenticus Amaseconti    Assiniboine (Stoney)
Achiligonan    Amikwa Assuti   
Achomawi   Anadarko Atakapa        
Acolapissa    Ancient Puebloans/Anasazi Atanumlema           
Acquintanacsnak    Anishinaabe Atchatchakangouen 
Acuera   Ani-Stohini/Unami Atfaiati
Adai Aondironon Athapascan Family
Adirondack Apache Atikamek
Adshusheer Apalachee Atquanachuke
Agua Caliente Apalachicola Atsina 
Agawam     Appomattoc Atsugewi  
Ahantchuyuk   Aquackanonk   Aucocisco   
Ais/Ays  Aranama Avavares   
Akonapi   Arapaho Avoyel   
Alabama/Alibamu     Arendahronon    Awani/Awanichi 
Alchedoma   Awatobi
Bahacecha Bellabella Biloxi
Bankalachi Beothuk            Blackfoot/Siksika
Bannock Bersiamite Blewmouths           
Basawunena Bidai            Bocootawwonauke
Bayougoula Bigiopa            Brotherton
Bear River Big Swamp Indians Buena Vista
Caddo Chehalis   Chumash 
Cahokia Chelamela Clackama  
Cahuilla Chelan Clallam 
Cajuenche  Chemehuevi   Clatskanie 
Calapooya Chepenafa   Clatsop  
Callam Cheraw   Clowwewalla 
Calusa Cherokee Coahuiltecan  
Canarsee   Chesapeake   Coaque  
Caparaz  Chetco  Cochimi  
Cape Fear Indians Cheyenne Cochiti  
Capinans   Chiaha  Cocopa  
Catawba  Chickahominy   Colville
Cathlacomatup   Chickamauga  Comanche
Cathlacumup   Chickasaw Conestoga
Cathlakaheckit Chilliwack   Congaree  
Cathlamet Chilluckittequaw   Conoy 
Cathlanahquiah   Chilula   Coos
Cathlapotle  Chimakuan Copalis 
Cathlathlalas  Chimakum   Coree  
Caughnawaga Chimariko   Costanoan
Cayuga Chine Coushatta (Koasati)
Cayuse Chinook   Cowichan  
Chactoo Chippewa Chiricahua Apache Cowlitz
Chakankni Chitimacha   Cree
Chakchiuma   Chiricahua Creek
Chatot   Choctaw Croatan
Chaui Choula  Crow 
Chaushila Chowanoc Cuñeil  
Chawasha   Cupeño
Dakota Delaware Dotame
Dakubetede Diegueño Doustioni
Deadose Diné - See Navajo Dwamish
Eyak Eskimo - See Inuit Etchareottine
Eno Esselen Etheneldeli
Erie    Etchaottine Eyeish
Fernandeño  Five Civilized Tribes Fremont
Flathead - See Salish Fox Fresh Water
Gabrieleno - See Tongva Gros Ventre Guale
Grigras Guacata Guasas
Haida  Hidatsa Houma   
Hainai  Hainai  Housatonic   
Halchidhoma    Hitchiti Huchnom  
Halyikwamai    Ho-Chunk  Hualupai
Hanis    Honniasontkeronon  Humptulips   
Hathawekela Hoh Hupa   
Hatteras Hohokam Huron
Havasupai Hopi  
Ibitoupa  Innu Iowa/Ioway
Icafui  Inuit Iroquois
Illinois/Illini Inupiat Ishak (see
    Isleta del Sur
Jamez Jeags Juaneño
Kadohadacho  Kawchodinne Konomihu
Kahnawake Kawia Kootenai/Kutenai 
Kalapooian   Keyauwee  Koroa  
Kalispel Kichai   Koso
Kamia  Kickapoo Kosotshe  
Kanza/Kaw Kiowa Koyeti  
Karankawa   Kitanemuk   Kutchin
Karok Kitksan Kutenai
Kaska Kitsai  Kuitsh
Kaskaskia Klallam Kusan 
Kaskinampo   Klamath Ktunaxa
Kato Klickitat Kutchin
Keresan Family Koasati  Kwaiailk
Kawaiisu Kohuana Kwakiutl
Lakmiut Lillooet  Luiseno
Lakota Lochapoka Lumbees
Lassik  Lohim Lummi 
Latgawa Loucheux Lutuamian
Lenape - See Delaware Luckeamute  
Macapiras  Mattole  Mogollon
Machapunga  Meherrin  Mohawk 
Mahican  Meits   Mohegan
Maidu  Menominee  Mojave 
Makah  Mescalero Apache Molala  
Maliseets Meskwaki Monacan 
Mandan Methow  Mono  
Manhattan   Metoac  Mono-Paviotso  
Manahoac  Miami Montagnais  
Manso   Mical  Montauk 
Marameg   Michigamea   Moravians  
Maricopa  Michilimackinac  Moratoc  
Mariposan Micmac Mosepolea 
Martha's Vineyard Mikasuki  Muckleshoot 
Mascouten   Miluk  Mucogo 
Maskegon  Mishikhwutmetunne Mugulasha 
Massachusett Missouri Muklasa 
Mashpee   Miwok  Multnomah
Matchoctic Mobile   Munsee 
Matinecoc Mocogo Muscogean Family
Mattabesic Moctobi  
Nabedache   Natchitoches   Niantic
Nacisi   Nauset Nippissing  
Nacogdoche   Navajo Nipmuc 
Nakota Neusiok  Nisqualli 
Naltunnetunne    Neutrals Nongatl 
Nanatsoho   Neketemeuk  Nooksak 
Nanticoke  Nemalquinner Nootka  
Napissa   Nespelem Noquet  
Napochi  Nez Percé  Nottoway  
Narragansett New York Ntlakyapamuk
Occaneechi Onatheaqua   Opelousa
Oconee  Oneida Osage
Ofo  Oneota Osoche 
Ojibwe/Ojibway Onondaga Otoe 
Okanagon  Ononchataronon  Ottawa 
Okelousa Ontonagon   Ouachita 
Omaha   Ozette
Paiute Pennacook  Plains Indians
Pallachacola   Penobscot  Pocomoke
Palouse/Palus Pensacola  Pocomtuc
Panamint Peoria   Pohoy, Pooy, Posoy
Papago Pepikokia   Pomo 
Pascagoula  Pequawket  Ponca 
Passamaquoddy Pequot Potano 
Patiti   Piegan Poosepatuck  
Patwin  Pima Potawatomi 
Pawnee  Pinal Coyotero   Powhatan  
Pawokti  Piankashaw Pshwanwapam 
Pecos  Piro Pueblo  Pueblo
Pedee Pit River Puyllup 
Quahatika   Quinaielt   Quinault 
Quapaw  Quileute Quinipissa
Rappahannock Ree - See Arikara Rouge River
Sac Seminole  
Sac and Fox Seneca  
Saconnet   Senijextee   
Sahehwamish  Serrano   
Salinan Family Sewee    
Salish Shakori   
Saluda  Shasta  
Samish  Shawnee  
Sanpoil  Shoshone  
Santee  Shinnecock    
Santiam  Shuswap    
Sappony Siletz   
Sarsi Siksika   
Saturiba   Tulalip    
Saturiwa  Tunica   
Sauk - See Sac Tunxis    
Sawokli Tuscarora   
Seechelt   Tuskegee   
Sekani   Tutchonekutchin    
Semiahmoo Tutelo   
Ucita  Unalachtigo  Ute 
Umatilla Unami  Utina
Wabanaki Washoe Wichita
Waccamaw Wateree Winnebago 
Waco   Watlala  Wintu 
Wailaki Wauyukma  Wintun 
Walapai - See Hualupai Waxhaw  Winyaw 
Walla Walla  Wenrohronon  Wippanap
Wampanoag  Wea   Wishram 
Wanapan  Weanoc   Wiyot/Wiyat 
Wappinger  Weapemeoc  Woccon 
Wappo   Wenatchee - See Yakama Wyandot
Wasco Whilkut Wynoochee
Yahi Yaquina Yuchi
Yahooskin/Yahuskin Yatasi  Yufera 
Yakama  Yavapai  Yui 
Yakonan Family  Yazoo  Yuki 
Yamasee  Yodok   Yuma
Yamel Yojuane   Yuman Family
Yampa   Yokut Family  Yurok 
Yana Yonkalla Yustaga
Yankton - See Nakota Yscanis  



1 Gov. Hickenlooper, Commission release report on the Study of American Indian Representations in Public Schools. (2016, April 18).