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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 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