The newly renovated Ute Indian Museum in Montrose.

(Nancy Lofholm/CPR News)
Ute Indian leaders had a goal when they expanded their museum in Montrose: They wanted to add  more contemporary exhibits to a place that had focused on the history of the tribe that represents the longest continuous group of inhabitants in Colorado.  One new exhibit, for instance, includes items like an oil rig drill bit, a football helmet, a cellophane package of cornmeal, and modern bead work in neon colors, all symbolic of  the Utes' successful entrepreneurship and individual accomplishments.

The renovated Ute Indian Museum reopened recently after a $2.9 million expansion and remodel. C.J. Brafford, the first Native American director of the museum in its 61-year history, tells Colorado Matters host Andrea Dukakis the museum is now more "authentic." 

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