Federal Indian Boarding Schools in Colorado
Dr. Holly Norton, History Colorado and Mr. Garrett Briggs, enrolled member of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe
The State of Colorado had two off-reservation boarding schools, the Teller Institute in Grand Junction, which operated from 1886-1911, and the Fort Lewis Indian Boarding School, which operated from 1891-1911. Both Fort Lewis Indian Boarding School and the Teller Institute were part of an Indian education experiment focused on the goal of assimilation and the systemic eradication of Native practices including traditional clothing, hairstyles, language, and traditional spiritual beliefs or religious systems. This educational approach to force Native American youth into mainstream society has come more sharply under investigation across the country in the last several years. Norton and Briggs will discuss the current efforts under way in Colorado for both Teller Institute and Fort Lewis.