Native American Legacy Award


From an archaeologist’s perspective, the legacy of human presence in Northern Colorado exceeds more than 13,000 years of indigenous peoples living in, and migrating through, this unique eco-tone where the plains meet the mountains.  These early Native peoples were followed by hunters who followed the migration routes of a now extinct species of bison, bison antiquus, more than 15 to 25% larger than today’s bison. Dating back to more than 12,000 years ago, this era is known as the Folsom period and is evidenced in a world famous archaeological site, Lindenmeier, located just north of Fort Collins.

From about 8,000 years ago, people hunted and gathered most of the animals and plants found today, with some minimal agricultural components. Tribal groups as we know them today are not recognized as being present until 1,000 A.D., if not longer, beginning with the Numic (Uto-Aztecan) speakers, commonly known as the Ute. Oral tradition and the ethno-historic record show evidence of other tribal groups like the Apache, Comanche, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Lakota, Shoshone, Pawnee, and others in Colorado as early as the mid-17th century.



Effective May 31, 2011, the Colorado State University Board of Governors approved the Native American Legacy Award (NALA) which recognizes the original residents of Colorado. NALA is available to students who are citizens of tribes that have a historical legacy of occupation in Colorado and eligible transfer students from accredited tribal colleges and universities.

Further details about this initiative and eligibility can be obtained by visiting Colorado State University's Admissions website: or calling (970) 491-6909.