Chief Niwot & Sand Creek Massacre Exhibition

Chief Niwot was a leader among the Arapaho Indians in the 1850s and 60s, and a dramatically influential individual during a time of incredible tumult in the West. As an English-speaking native, he sought to bring peace between his people and the massive influx of white settlers, who eventually brought about his death and removal of his people from their native lands.

This exhibition at the Boulder History Museum tells the story of this remarkable man, his dramatic death at the Sand Creek Massacre and the Arapaho people descended today from his legacy.

With guest curator and western novelist, Margaret Coel, and the additional expertise of Arapaho people, academics and researchers and the museum’s talented staff, the exhibit presents the story’s complexity and challenges museum visitors to examine our shared history. It is a centerpiece of a community-wide, yearlong conversation that examines Boulder’s untold past entitled One Action, One Boulder that also includes theatrical productions, readings and films.

Studio Tectonic provided exhibition planning, design and production. Work includes storyline development, exhibition and graphic design, audio/video recording and production, artifact handling/mounting, fabrication and installation services.


Museum of Boulder


Boulder, CO


Audio | Video

Cultural History

Exhibit/Site of Conscience


Interactive Media



Margaret Coel: Curator and
Western Novelist


Winner of the Mountain Plains Museum Association Leadership & Innovation Award

Winner of the Josephine H. Miles Award from History Colorado for major contribution to the advancement of Colorado history

…the most successful exhibit the Boulder History Museum has ever had on display. Attendance to this exhibit broke all records and we were honored to receive two very prestigious awards…

Nancy Geyer, Executive Director & CEO (retired)