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Uncovering History

Assistant Professor of Archaeology John Seebach, PhD, research focuses on Indigenous boarding schools

Seebach has spent years working to uncover the complicated and emotional history of Indigenous boarding schools across North America by studying a former institution that is close to home. In the early 1900s, tens of thousands of Native American children were relocated to boarding schools with the intent to assimilate them, and therefore future generations, into western culture. The Teller Institute in Grand Junction was one of these boarding schools. Through his research and time spent in Washington D.C. looking through national archives, Seebach discovered death notices and archival newspaper clippings showing 21 children who died while attending the Teller Institute although there may be many more undocumented deaths. Seebach consults those most impacted by the tragic history and works with tribal leaders to determine the most culturally sensitive way to go about his research. He has only barely scratched the surface and there is more work to be done. Listen to this CMUnow Special edition podcast to hear from Seebach about his important research.


Written by Staff