Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month

Join Pikes Peak Library District as we pay tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans during Native American Heritage Month. Throughout November, we'll have many opportunities for you to learn and engage, and several resources for you to use to learn more about Native American heritage!

Spotlight Events

Navajo Code Talker: Looking Through the Eyes of WWII Marine Chester Nez

Our country’s Indigenous People were key to our victory in WWII. In the Pacific Arena, the Japanese managed to crack every communication code used by the United States. Marines turned to their Navajo recruits to develop and implement a secret military language. These Navajo marines created the only unbroken spoken code in modern warfare, and helped to assure triumph for the United States.

Bestselling author Judith Schiess Avila gives us the insider’s account of Navajo code talker Chester Nez. Chester was one of the original code talkers—the men who designed the Navajo code and proved it in battle. Together, Chester and Judith tell the story of these indispensable marines in Chester’s memoir Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII. The book is available at most bookstores and on Amazon.

Red Feather Woman

Join Rose Red Elk as she shares songs and stories about Native American culture.


Young Adult Booklist

Adult Booklist

Immerse yourself in Native Dance with this video from Kennedy Center Education Digital Learning. The beautiful regalia (costumes) and dances are fascinating. Make sure to watch the hoop dance!

Larry Cesspooch, a member of the Ute Indian tribe, talks about his tribe and their creation stories. Celebrate Native Heritage Month by joining him for a few minutes of wonder.

Regional History and Genealogy Resources

Our Regional History & Genealogy collection holds a rich, diverse collection of material on Native American history and culture. While our collection is primarily focused on the tribes of the American West and the Plains, we offer sources on indigenous people all over the United States. Some examples of the materials we have are listed below, but if you'd like to explore more, all you have to do is ask! Learn more about getting in touch with our staff HERE.

  1. God is Red by Vine Deloria
    Groundbreaking non-fiction work detailing the origin and history of traditional Native American religion and culture.
  2. The Ute Indians of Colorado in the Twentieth Century by Richard Young
    A history of the Ute tribes following removal from their ancestral lands, Young delves into the challenges faced by Colorado’s indigenous people.
  3. Vision Quest: Men, Women and Sacred Sites of the Sioux Nation by Don Doll
    A stunning photographic depiction of today’s Lakotas, Dakotas, and Nakotas.
  4. War Cry on a Prayer Feather: Prose and Poetry of the Ute Indians by Nancy Wood
    A great example of the many Native American literary sources in our collections.
  5. Halfbreed: The Remarkable True Story of George Bent by David Fridtjof Halaas
    An excellent biography which also dives deep into the history of the Cheyenne tribe, original inhabitants of what is now Colorado Springs.
  6. A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest by Robert Ruby
    A comprehensive overview of tribes throughout the Pacific Northwest which detail the political, economic, and cultural developments shaping these tribes.
  7. The American Indian by Edward Curtis
    The infamous multivolume set by photographer Edward Curtis.
  8. A Companion to American Indian History by Philip J. Deloria
    Excellent primer for understanding American Indian historiography.

Database and Other Materials:

  • Early, first-hand accounts of our region’s Indigenous inhabitants from local newspapers in Pikes Peak NewsFinder. Try the search term “Indians” or “Ute Indian.”
  • Explore images of Ute Indians in Colorado Springs through our Digital Collections.
  • Native Land: A tool which allows users to interact with traditional Indigenous territories, languages, and treaties on a map.