Denver, CO

Meet Colorado's first Latina State Historian, Dr. Nicki Gonzales

Grant Underwood
Claudio Testa/Unsplash

DENVER, CO – Colorado State Council of Historical Historian appointed Nicki Gonzales, a history professor, as the new State Historian.

She will serve as a vice provost starting August 1. A Denver native, Gonzales’ family came from Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. She marks history as the first Latina State Historian in Colorado.

Apart from being the first Latina, Nicki Gonzales is also a vice-chancellor at Regis University. Gonzales focuses on the history of Chicano and the social and political movements of the Southwest. She plans to invite young people to explore the history of Colorado and aims to open the eyes of young people to the importance of knowing and studying the history of their own country as a heritage. For example, History Colorado is currently collaborating with the local tribal partner to exhibit the historical legacies of the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864.

“History is one of the most effective ways we can understand ourselves and our present moment,” said Gonzales. “I’d like to see more unrecognized stories shared publicly so we can arrive at a truer sense of where we’ve been and who we are."

Colorado’s State Historian is a part of a five-person council that has been trying to increase awareness of the collective foundation of history and storytelling. It collaborates with History Colorado, the nation’s largest state historical fund for historical preservation.

The Council of State Historians was established on August 1, 2018. They aim to cover the entire state as a representative of the history of Colorado and the West, becoming a place that provides opportunities to understand and learn more about history, culture, and landmarks in the Colorado area.

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