Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs

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Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs is an organization based in Denver, Colorado.

"In 1976, the Colorado General Assembly created (C.R.S. §§ 24-44-101 to 24-44-108), within the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs (CCIA). The Lieutenant Governor serves in the statutory role as chair of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs. The Commission was designed to be the official liaison between the two Ute Tribes and the State of Colorado. Legislators and tribal leaders envisioned a productive relationship between the state and tribal governments.” The two federally recognized tribes in Colorado are the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. “Each of the Tribes has a constitution, code of laws, and court system that are separate and independent of state and local governments.” The CCIA maintains government-to government relationships with each tribe and encourages tribe sovereignty.

CCIA Duties

  • “To investigate the needs of Indians of this state and to facilitate the provision of technical assistance in the preparation of plans for the alleviation of such needs;
  • To review all proposed or pending legislation affecting Indians in this state;
  • To study the existing status of recognition of all Indian groups, tribes, and communities presently existing in this state;
  • To employ and fix the compensation of an executive director of the commission, who shall carry out the responsibilities of the commission;
  • To petition the General Assembly for funds to effectively administer the Commission’s affairs and to expend funds in compliance with state regulations;
  • To accept and expend gifts, funds, grants, donations, bequests, and devises for use in furthering the purposes of the Commission;
  • To contract with public or private bodies to provide services and facilities for promoting the welfare of Indian peoples;
  • To make legislative recommendations;
  • To form committees as needed to respond to and address the needs of Tribal governments and Indian peoples of the state; and
  • To make and publish reports of findings and recommendations.”


The CCIA has four committees to uphold, “human services, natural resources, public health and environment, local affairs, transportation, education, health care and policy, corrections, public safety, Colorado history, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, data collection, economic development, and State legislation affecting Native Americans.”

Health and Wellness

  • Identify tribal health issues, prioritize recommendations, and take actions to solve issues collaboratively and respectfully.
  • Maintain positive relationships between tribal health and state health programs. Coordinate prevention and healthy lifestyles practices.
  • “Guide the State of Colorado and local public health and healthcare providers on how to best work in partnership with the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.”
  • Identify funding opportunities within the two Ute Tribes to promote health and wellness priorities.
  • Improve health facilities, family planning, nutrition, behavioral sciences, and tribal enrollment (retaining services outside of the reservation).


  • “To coordinate intergovernmental dealings between tribal governments and this state.”
  • To identify tribal needs and work towards a solution that provides services or programs.
  • Improve retention rates throughout high schools, improve high school graduation rates, and encourage seeking higher education degrees.

Economic Development

  • Governed by the Colorado American Indian and Alaska Native Economic Impact Report.
    • This highlights how American Indians contributed to the Colorado economy.


  • Commission to study American Indian naming and imagery representations in public schools
    • Colorado Governor Hickenlooper signed an Executive Order October 6th, 2015 to approve this study.
  • Commission to carry out the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
    • The CCIA works with seven different state and federal agencies.
    • Publishes new museums and Federal agency listings in the Federal Register.
    • Creates and maintains databases to track items. An example is the Culturally Unidentifiable Human Remains Inventories (CUI) Database.
    • Writing grants to provide financial assistance to, “museums, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations in fulfilling NAGPRA.
    • “Provides staff support to NAGPRA Review Committee and for the Annual Report to Congress.”
    • Implements regulations and provides technical assistance for writing the Annual Report to Congress.

Agency partners

  • Corporation for Nation and Community Service
  • Spirit of the Sun
  • American Indian Commission
  • Southern Ute Indian Tribe
  • Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
  • Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
  • Rocky Mountain Indian Chamber of Commerce.


  1.  "CCIA Website"

Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs