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Indigenous Peoples Day

Indigenous Peoples Day logo 2019

Indigenous Peoples Day 2021

The City of Boulder’s Human Relations Commission is now accepting proposals from local organizations that would like to host a non-in-person event for the annual Indigenous Peoples Day. Indigenous Peoples Day, to be held between Friday, Oct. 8, and Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. The celebration is part of a national effort to recognize and honor the existence, culture and contributions of the original inhabitants of North America.

Community groups and organizations are eligible for grants through the Human Relations Commission with a maximum amount of $2,000 per event. In addition, the Office of Arts and Culture is offering enhancement sponsorships of up to $2,000 available per event for programs that include arts components.

Events must abide by all public health requirements and organizers will be required to provide a compliance plan where applicable.

Funding priority criteria includes:

  • Community-initiated event;
  • Nonprofit agency/group;
  • Free and open to the public;
  • Held between Oct. 8-11, 2021.

Arts components examples include:

  • Visual arts and crafts;
  • Music, theater and dance;
  • Educational activities and lectures.

Proposals must be received by 5 p.m., Monday, June 14, 2021.

For the past six years, hundreds of community members have participated in celebration activities including dances, poetry, teach-ins, film screenings and performances to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day.   

For more information, contact Clay Fong at [email protected] or call 303-441-3141.

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 been observed as Columbus Day since 1934.  

picture of Chief Black Coal

Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations have been adopted by cities and states across the United States. As of 2020, 14 states and more than 130 cities celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead of or in addition to Columbus Day.

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

In 2016, in collaboration with community members and the Human Relations Commission, Boulder City Council adopted Resolution No. 1190, a resolution declaring the second Monday of October of each year to be Indigenous Peoples Day. The resolution acknowledges that:


  • The Boulder area encompasses ancestral homelands of Indigenous Peoples’ Nations.
  • Indigenous People in Boulder have, as in all parts of the Americas, endured centuries of cruelty, exploitation and genocide.
  • Facing and acknowledging our past, good as well as bad, makes our community stronger and more resilient.
  • Boulder has benefited directly from Indian removal policies that violated human rights, broke government treaties and forced from their homeland.
  • Those now living on these ancestral lands recognize that harm was done and acknowledge that we have a shared responsibility to forge a path forward to address the past and continuing harm to the Indigenous People and the land.

The permanent resolution officially recognized Indigenous Peoples Day and is available here. pdf