Part Cheyenne, part Lakota Sioux, Helen Peterson moved from Denver to Washington, DC, in 1953 to become the first Native American woman director of the National Congress of American Indians. She returned to Denver in 1962 as executive director of the city’s Commission on Community Relations and served again in Washington as assistant to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Her life was devoted to promoting equal rights, encouraging voter registration and political involvement for minorities, and the successful transition of Native Americans from their reservations. Flathead Indian scholar D’Arcy McNickle joined with Peterson to develop and promote summer education for Native American students at Colorado College from 1956 through 1970. Their workshops became a model for all ethnic studies programs in the United States.