Colorado Mesa University archaeologist updates search for Teller Indian School burial grounds

The Carlisle Indian School, circa 1901
The Carlisle Indian School, circa 1901(Library of Congress | Library of Congress)
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 5:06 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - New information after we told you last month about the federal government’s first investigation into the country’s Indian Boarding School system.

Five existed in Colorado including the Teller Indian School in Grand Junction.

The Carlyle School in Pennsylvania pioneered the idea. The motto was “Kill the Indian to Save the Man.”  Native American children were forcibly assimilated into American culture.  Administrators changed their names, cut off their hair and eradicated their language and culture.

Investigators found 53 burial sites at schools across the United States.

But the one in Grand Junction remains unidentified, lost due to over a century of neglect.

The work to find it is slowed by talks from affected tribes and state officials.

But Thursday researchers explained to an audience at the Mesa County Libraries why it is critical work.

“So I think one of the most important things talking to people is just raising awareness that this happened, and that it’s going to take all of us to make sure that the history is not lost forever. And so when I talk to people afterwards, a lot of the questions were, how do you think you think you’re going to be successful and you find the cemetery. What should we do to make sure that we sell this property?,” said CMU Anthropologist John Seebach.We proudly live streamed Thursday’s event on Facebook.  It is not available for replay but we plan to keep sharing community events this way.

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