DENVER - In the late 1990's, a New York Times news article proclaimed, "Indian Country Finds a Capital in Denver." This is true in many ways. In the 1950s, Native Americans were
"encouraged" to leave their reservations to pursue jobs in urban centers. Denver was attractive to many in the West, especially the Navajo of the Southwest, and the Lakota of the South Dakota plains. Since then, Colorado's Indian population has grown to over 107,000, with about eighty percent of this population living in metropolitan regions such as the Denver-metro area1. Approximately 100 tribes are represented here.
Thousands of these "urban Indians" still return to their tribal communities or reservations throughout the year to participate in familial and tribal events and ceremonies.