Observed annually during the month of November, Native American Heritage Month celebrates the diverse cultures, traditions, and histories of Indigenous people while also raising awareness of the historical challenges, injustices, and persecution they have suffered, and still encounter today.

The United States recognizes Indigenous peoples from 574 federally recognized tribal nations and 75 state recognized tribes. The University of Northern Colorado sits upon the traditional territories of the Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Lakota peoples. Further, we acknowledge that 48 tribes are historically tied to the state of Colorado.

If you are considering sharing a land acknowledgement statement, here are some questions to reflect upon:

  • Why are we performing this land acknowledgment?
  • Am I familiar with the histories of the people I am acknowledging?
  • Am I familiar and have a relationship with the contemporary population of these communities?
  • Does our organization understand the Native people we serve? Is this based on assumptions or through authentic connection?
  • Will this be the only action I make in relation to Native people this year?

Throughout the month of November, Native American Student Services offers various events to the community in celebration and recognition of Native American Heritage Month. Join NASS on November 9 for the Indigenous People’s Speaker Series with guest speaker D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai and a screening of Reservation Dogs. A primary focus of the mission of NASS is to enrich the UNC community through academic, social, and cultural programs that reflect the tradition, heritage, and history of Native America.

Take Action:

For additional education and personal development related to diversity, equity and inclusion, the following resources are available: DEI Education and Resources, DEI and Antiracism Resources from the UNC Libraries, the Education Equity Toolkit from the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and the UNITE workshops for faculty, staff, and students.