Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies provides Native students and faculty an intellectual and social home at CU Boulder. We promote collaborative research focusing on both local and global Indigenous knowledge and foster wide ranging NAIS projects that aim to open conversations both in Colorado and the world.

The United Nations General Assembly’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) points to the interconnections among indigenous peoples and groups around the world. The understanding and support of developing global indigeneity is our focus.

Highlights that illustrate our work and uniqueness:

  • Global Research & Connections: CNAIS faculty and affiliated programs have projects and connections extending from Sápmi (Sami territories) to Tahiti; we have a presence at the U.N., with a member of our Executive Board acting as legal counsel for the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and another faculty on the UN Executive Mechanism for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Indigenous Legal Scholars: CU Law is home to American Indian Law Program.We interface with legal scholars on a daily basis and have unparalleled access to legal studies resources through our collaborations with  NARF the NILL, situated within sight of our office. 
  • Outreach and Engagement: CNAIS’s First Peoples Worldwide program provides legal and economic expertise to Indigenous communities around the world, and consults widely on Indigenous topics. FPW’s report on the Dakota Access Pipeline gained widespread attention, as it highlighted the extraordinary costs in time and money associated with failures to follow best practices and respect the rights of indigenous peoples.