John Evans Study Committee

  • Visitors

    • To download the DU John Evans Study Report, click on the tab by that name (above)

  • Description

    • "Universities are dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge. They are conservators of humanity's past.  They cherish their own pasts, honoring forbears with statues and portraits and in the names of buildings. To study or teach at a [university] is to be a member of a community that exists across time, a participant in a procession that began centuries ago and that will continue long after we are gone.  If an institution professing these principles cannot squarely face its own history, it is hard to imagine how any other institution, let alone our nation, might do so."

      -Report of the Brown University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, page 6, 2006.

      The University of Denver was founded in 1864 by John Evans.  John Evans had been appointed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 to be the second territorial governor of Colorado. He served in that capacity until 1865.  

      This committee is inquiring into the nature of John Evans’ involvement in the political and economic processes that led to the appropriation of Indian Lands in Colorado and, more specifically, to the 1864 killing of Cheyenne and Arapahoe villagers at Sand Creek. It consists of faculty and staff from DU and other institutions.  Given the impending 150-year anniversaries of the Sand Creek Massacre and DU’s founding, it is appropriate to evaluate John Evans’ place in the university’s history and the ways in which we recognize his contributions. 

      The committee is working in tandem with a similarly constituted committee at Northwestern University, which John Evans co-founded in 1853.  The NU and DU committees will coordinate research and share information.  The DU committee will generate a report of our findings and a set of recommendations for actions that the university should take as a result of our report. 

      Banner Photograph: Informational marker at the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site.

  • Committee Members

    • Committee Chair (media contact): Nancy Wadsworth, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Denver.

      Ramona Beltran, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Social Work.

      Dave Buchanan, PhD candidate, Department of English, University of Denver.

      Richard Clemmer-Smith, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Unversity of Denver.

      Tamra D'Estree, Director, Center for Research and Practice, Conflict Resolution Institute, University of Denver; and Henry R. Luce Professor of Conflict Resolution

      Steve Fisher, Associate Professor and University Historian, Penrose Library, University of Denver (Committee Contact Person).

      David Halaas, Author and former Colorado State Historian.

      Alan Gilbert, Professor, Josef Korbel School of International Studies and Evans Professor, University of Denver.

      Sara Schwartzkopf, DU Native Alumni Association; American Indian College Fund.

      Dean Saitta, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Denver.

      Adam Rovner, Associate Professor, English Department

      George (Tink) Tinker, Professor, Iliff School of Theology.

      Amanda Williams, Julia Bramante, and Viki Eagle, DU Native Student Alliance

      Gail Ridgely, Northern Arapaho Tribe

      Otto Braided Hair, Northern Cheyenne Tribe

      Joe Big Medicine, Karen Little Coyote, Southern Cheyenne Tribe

      Henry Littlebird, Chief Willey, Southern Arapahoe Tribe

This portfolio last updated: Nov 8, 2014 11:44:32 AM