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Together as students and as the Original People of this nation, 

our strengths will endure for many generations to come!


NASO – Native American Student Organization


In 1970, Michael Running Wolf and Jim Nelson joined together in a collaborative effort of providing the needs for current and future Native American students through recruiting, supporting, and achieving goals within higher education.  Together they identified the necessities to reach and direct a purpose of understanding that would accommodate the basic needs and encourage Native students in becoming active student leaders.  From the initial stepping point of Michael Running Wolf and Jim Nelson, their movement would eventually unfold into the service of a student organization indentified as NASO – Native American Student Organization.

With the precise and organized thoughts from Michael Running Wolf and Jim Nelson who identified their needs within themselves as college students, their accomplishments would evolved into identifying the needs to and for Native American students through NASO, which holds a valued concept of students helping students.  This value seeks to provide an environment that Native students can gather and network among each other.

The Native American Student Organization {NASO} continues to uphold the original concepts and goals of Running Wolf and Nelson.  And with NASO operating as a student organization funded by the students, varied and numerous Native student leaders will continue, in Running Wolf and Nelson’s honor, to maintain a high regard of enhancement, appreciation, and respect for students who still hold their traditional ways-of-life through Native ancestry and cultural values.  



  • To promote and maintain the scholastic well-being of American Indian students
  • Setting provisional opportunities for leadership training through the student involvement with the school/campus and the Native American communities
  • In everlasting effort to work on eliminating ignorance, prejudice, and discrimination; and most importantly,  educate Native students and non-Native students for Auraria Campus, and for the United States of America
  • To enhance our voice as a Nation of People, we strive to facilitate communication and cooperation between the students, faculty, administration, student government, and other student clubs/organizations
  • Setting, administering, and maintaining a supportive network of recruiting for Native American students and Native American student-run programs.


  • With the Native American Student Organization funded by student fees of the University of Colorado Denver, we endeavor to reach all Native students to participate and utilize NASO services and encourage other student organization to build allegiances at UC-Denver.
  • For the Native American students attending the University of Colorado Denver Downtown Campus, many of our student population ages range from 19-60 years of age. Therefore, the Native American Student Organization {NASO} will represent many areas of the United States and many different Tribal Nations here at the University of Colorado Denver Downtown Campus (Auraria Campus) through special events. 

Goals and Objectives:

  • To represent the Native students within the university in terms of faculty/staff, administration, and campus community.
  • Improve the Native students’ academic and social well being.
  • Encourage and support Native American students in adjustment to an alien culture, outside of their homeland (i.e. reservations or reserves), as well as to the University environment.
  • We are continued to unite as students to help others and ourselves achieve greater goals by gaining a higher education. Through special university events, we invite the CU Denver student population to unite with us.