Committee on FLC History

Fort Lewis College has a distinct commitment to provide educational opportunities and pathways for Native American students, and to support each student’s determination and the choices they make for their education and career.

In 2019, a committee of students, faculty, and staff led important conversations with a core advisory group of tribal advisors, alumni, and community stakeholders, to discuss how FLC’s history as a military fort and boarding school is represented and in what contexts. Specifically, they were charged with researching and collaborating on next steps for the panels displayed underneath the clocktower. The panels inaccurately captured the history of the boarding school experience as it relates to Indigenous Peoples in our region. Additionally, the display of the panels in a central part of campus perpetuated harm on many members of the FLC community and undermined the fulfillment of FLC's mission.

During the 2019-20 school year, the committee engaged campus in an inclusive and robust reconciliation process. Their ultimate recommendation to President Stritikus was the removal of the history panels.

The Office of Diversity Affairs is leading our continued reconciliation work in partnership with faculty, staff, students, and Tribal Nations. Diversity Affairs is engaging campus community in listening sessions, discussion groups, creative works, and other collaborations to improve the well-being of Indigenous students, increase students' sense of belonging, and uphold our responsibilities to Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities.

2019-20 Committee

  • Jesse Peters (chair), Dean, School of Arts & Sciences
  • Lee Bitsoi, Associate Vice President of Diversity Affairs
  • Simon Chief, Assistant Director of the Native American Center
  • Elizabeth Quinn, Curator of Museum Collections CSWS
  • Joslyn Lee, Assistant Professor Chemistry
  • Majel Boxer, Associate Professor NAIS
  • Melissa Clutter, Assistant Professor Geosciences
  • Carma Claw, Assistant Professor Management
  • Rosalinda Linares, Information Literacy Librarian
  • Billy Nollet, Associate Professor Engineering
  • Sara Newman, Assistant Professor Public Health
  • Cody Stroup, ASFLC President
  • Michael Martin, Faculty Senate President / Professor History
  • Bridget Groat, Assistant Professor History & NAIS
  • Deanne Grant, Assistant Professor of Sociology & NAIS

2019-20 Core Advisory Group

  • Chiara Cannella, Associate Professor Teacher Education
  • Keri Brandt, Professor Sociology
  • Beth LaShell, Coordinator, The Old Fort
  • Jeff DuPont, Associate Vice President Student Affairs
  • Laura Owens, NAC Academic Support Coordinator
  • Paul Keunker, Visiting Instructor History
  • Emma Salazar, Academic Services Coordinator TRIO
  • Isley Frazier, Instructional Tech and Multimedia Developer
  • Chuck Riggs, Professor Anthropology
  • Brian Twenter, Visiting Assistant Professor of NAIS / Mellon Scholar
  • Davina Two Bears, Visiting Assistant Professor of NAIS / Mellon Scholar
  • Tribal Representatives
    • Navajo Nation Representative: Rose Graham
    • Southern Ute Representative: LaTicia Taylor / Garrett Briggs
    • Ute Mountain Ute Representative: Selwyn Whiteskunk
    • Jicarilla Apache Representative: TBD
    • All Indian Pueblo Council Representative: TBD
    • Additional Tribal Leaders: TBD
    • Native American Alumni Chapter Representative: Faith Roessel

Student Advisory Group 2019-20:

  • Jalen Charley, Junior Psychology Major
  • Alyssa Begay, Senior Writing Major
  • Dyllon Mills, Junior Public Health Major
  • Yohneh Danforth, Junior Anthropology Major
  • Talbrett Caramillo, Senior Biology Major
  • Rexine Williams, Senior Public Health Major
  • Ally Gee, Junior Public Health Major
  • Chantel Jones, Sophomore Public Health Major
  • McKayla Keams, Senior Public Health Major
  • James Summers, Senior History and Political Science Major
  • Shasta Dazen, Junior Public Health Major
  • Jackson Suazo, Junior Native American Indigenous Studies Major
  • William Charles, Senior English Major

Working Subgroups 19-20

History of Boarding Schools and Fort Lewis Boarding School

  • Rosalinda Linares
  • Beth LaShell
  • Laura Owens
  • Keri Brandt Off

Other Colleges’ Strategies for Recognizing/Discussing Complex Histories

  • Joslyn Lee
  • Carma Claw

Possible Ways to Represent Complex Histories

  • Michael Martin
  • Paul Keunker
  • Liz Quinn

Ways to Discuss the Tuition Waiver & History / Framing Discourse

  • Melissa Clutter
  • Sara Newman
  • Billy Nollet


  • October 2019
    • President announces committee and charge
    • Committee membership established
  • November 2019
    • First meeting November 11, 2019 (bi-weekly thereafter)
    • Core Advisory Group established
  • December 2019
    • First Open Listening Session – December 13th
    • Tasks assigned and working groups established
  • January 2020
    • Continue working groups
    • Letters to Tribal Nations sent out
    • Zoom meetings with Minnesota Morris Provost and Faculty
  • February 2020
    • Second Open Listening Session – February 27th
    • Visit from Minnesota Morris Faculty
  • March 2020
    • Draft of first Recommendations
    • Follow-up sessions for feedback on draft with campus community
  • April 2020
    • Recommendations to President
  • September 2021
    • Removal of the clocktower history panels