Native American Heritage Month


Did you know that what started in an effort to have one day of recognition for the contributions of Native Americans to the growth and establishment of the United States, ended up in an entire month being dedicated to that purpose? In 1915, an Arapahoe man named Reverend Sherman Coolidge, after working together with the American Indian Association, issued a proclamation that the second Saturday of each May should be designate as "American Indian Day." This proclamation also contained the first appeal for Indians to be recognized as citizens.

"American Indian Day" was never adopted, and there would be no official day, or month, until President George H. W. Bush designated November as "National American Indian Heritage Month" in 1990. Since then, the name has changed to "Native American Heritage Month., opens a new window"  


For Adults:



Digital Collection

For Teens:

For Kids:


Music plays an integral role in the life of Native Americans and many different instruments are used including drums, flutes and other percussion instruments. Listen to some of the traditional music of Native Americans with this collection of streaming music on hoopla, opens a new window.

Online Resources

Pinterest board, opens a new window of resources and items from the Library of Congress collections.

American Indian and Alaskan Native records, opens a new window in the National Archives for research on family members, tribes, treaties and more.

Local History

Native Americans have a rich history in Colorado. In fact, Arapahoe County was named after the Arapaho Indians who, along with the Cheyenne, occupied most of Colorado when it was only a territory. 

Learn more about the Arapaho and other Native American tribes in Colorado.

Explore more with CultureGrams, opens a new window and World Book Encyclopedia, opens a new window online.


Discover Native Colorado and all the remarkable places you can visit in our state.

Denver Art Museum's American Indian collection, opens a new window represents the artistic works of nearly all tribes across North America and Canada. Across the street, you will find Native American Trading Company, opens a new window which holds a gallery of Southwest and Native American art. 

At the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, you can experience the diversity among Native American groups by visiting the North American Indian Cultures, opens a new window exhibit. (Get your free museum pass).

Each year, the Denver March Powwow, opens a new window features dancing, singling, storytelling, food and art from close to 100 tribes in the US and Canada.