The John Evans Report & Recommendations

"A century and a half later, as an educational community that has inherited Evans’s positive legacies along with his deadly decisions, we have the opportunity to face this history honestly. It is impossible now to celebrate the founder with the amnesia we have shown in the past, but we can see him—and perhaps ourselves—more accurately situated in the complexity of history."

-- John Evans Study Committee, Nov. 2014 (95)

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University Of Denver John Evans Study Committee Report

In 2013, a group of 11 DU faculty members organized the University of Denver John Evans Study Committee and conducted an independent inquiry regarding Evans' role in the Sand Creek Massacre. In 2014, the committee released its report. This study is essential in understanding the University of Denver's history.

Read the Report Here

Reports Explaining Recommendations for Healing and Reconciliation

Native American Stoles

January 29, 2016

“With a few notable exceptions, Native American population and culture have been ignored by higher education. Native American student enrollment, employment of faculty and staff, as well as curriculum and an understanding of cultural practices, is under-represented or ignored within academia... This has also been the case at the University of Denver, but is of particular significance due to the University’s history.” –Strategic Recommendations of the University of Denver Task Force on Native American Inclusivity

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Strategic Recommendations of the Task Force on Native American Inclusivity

November 1, 2014

"With the completion of this report, the University of Denver is presented with an opportunity to reflect on our institutional origins, history, and legacy. We have an opportunity to provide a model of transparency, accountability, and transformation for institutions that have directly profited or indirectly benefited from the displacement of the indigenous communities whose lands and histories they occupy. -- Recommendations of the University of Denver John Evans Committee

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John Evans Report Study and Recommendations

Recommendations for Healing and Reconciliation from 2014 & 2016

  • Truth Telling and Public Dialogue

    From the John Evans Committee Recommendations (2014)

    • Publish (print and online) and widely disseminate the Committee Report among students, staff, alumni, faculty, trustees, and the general public.
    • Create an official Memorandum of Agreement implementing a formal, mutually-understood relationship between the University of Denver and the Sovereign Nations of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana, the Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming, and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.
    • Sponsor open, facilitated public forums, on campus and off, to allow interested parties to respond to, critique, and discuss the report.
    • Update official DU histories to accommodate the key findings of the report.
  • Commemoration and Memorialization

    From the John Evans Committee Recommendations (2014)

    • Encourage all-campus participation in, and support for, the Sesquicentennial Sand Creek Healing Run and regularize institutional support for future years.
    • Create another “Day of Remembrance” on the academic calendar, to be observed while school is in session.
    • Consult with Cheyenne and Arapaho descendants on the nature and form of a permanent campus memorial that commemorates the conjoined histories of Sand Creek and DU and acknowledges DU’s existence on native land. The memorial could have permanence in space (a dedicated physical location) or time (the Day of Remembrance).
    • Establish an annual lecture or exhibition associated with the Day of Remembrance by a prominent Native American scholar, writer, or artist.
    • Provide a one-line statement on all official DU letterhead for all academic units at the bottom of the page where all other locational information is provided that acknowledges DU’s presence on native land.
    • Incorporate the narrative of DU’s presence on native land in all official events (New student orientations, convocations, first-year seminar dinners, etc.)
    • Create forums for discussing the renaming of campus buildings, positions, and awards, where appropriate and without historical erasure.

    From the Strategic Recommendations of the Task Force on Native American Inclusivity (2016)

    • Establish a Memorandum of Understanding with Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Wyoming, Montana, and Oklahoma.
    • Create education modules and Colorado's history as it relates to DU.
    • Have a community conversation about John Evan’s name and images as it relates to DU.
    • Participate in the yearly Sand Creek Massacre commemoration activities including the annual Spiritual Healing Run as well as find permanent funding support for the annual pow wow.
    • Create a Sand Creek Massacre Memorial Site on the DU campus and support efforts and fundraising for a permanent memorial at the Colorado State Capitol remembering Sand Creek.
  • Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Educational Outreach

    From the John Evans Committee Recommendations (2014)

    • Create a Native American Studies Center and establish a Native American Studies major/minor.
    • Expand internship and service-learning opportunities for all students to connect with agencies serving Native American interests in the Denver community.
    • Produce study materials, workshops, and a support system for DU faculty and staff who want to teach about the Sand Creek Massacre and/or incorporate this history into their courses.
    • Create and regularly sponsor an on-campus Summer Teacher Institute for Colorado middle and high school teachers, run by DU and tribal scholars and representatives, to develop curriculum materials for teaching about the Sand Creek Massacre and other topics related to Native American history.

    From the Strategic Recommendations of the Task Force on Native American Inclusivity (2016)

    • Integrate Native American topics and themes into existing course work and develop new courses that address Native American culture, history, spirituality, literature, and experience.
    • Encourage undergraduate and graduate students to take Native American focused classes for credit in their departments.
    • Develop a Native American Studies BA Minor with the eventual goal of establishing a BA Major.
    • Increase hiring of full-time, tenure/tenuretrack Native faculty.
    • Create new collaborative relationships and opportunities with other Colorado research institutions and organizations that focus on Native American studies.
  • Recruitment and Retention

    From the John Evans Committee Recommendations (2014)

    • Increase financial aid for all Native American students.
    • Establish a robust scholarship and support program (e.g.,15 scholarships) for recruiting and retaining Native American undergraduate and graduate students, including dedicated scholarships for Cheyenne and Arapaho students.
    • Create clinics through law, business, and other professional schools that support Native American students.
    • Establish endowed professorships and postdoctoral research opportunities for Native American scholars through the university’s Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Study of (In)Equality (IRISE) and/or some other DU entity.
    • Target the recruiting of Native American faculty and staff in all academic units and plan to add at least six new faculty positions for indigenous scholars within the next five years.
    • Develop partnerships, consortia, and faculty/ student exchange relationships with tribal colleges.
    • Create professional development opportunities for Native American educators through our Morgridge College of Education and other units, including the opportunity for Native educators to enroll in a certain number of DU courses (including University College and CWC courses) free of charge.

    From the Strategic Recommendations of the Task Force on Native American Inclusivity (2016)

    • Increase recruitment, enrollment, and persistence of Native American graduate and undergraduate students and provide additional merit funding.
    • Create a full-time Tribal Liaison and Program Officer position.
    • Build a baseline historical database on recruitment, admission, acceptance, matriculation, persistence, and graduation rates for Native American students at DU.
    • Strengthen existing and establish new relationships and partnerships with local, regional, and national Native and Nativeserving organizations to better serve DU Native students.
    • Create a more welcoming and supportive campus climate for Native American students by developing specific cultural competency training for all staff and faculty.

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"It is through narrative, through storytelling, through being a part of history, through really trying to tell the truth and demystify the past, to counter this American mythology about Indigenous peoples."

Ramona Beltran, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Social Work