At Fort Lewis College in Durango today, more than a third of the students are Indigenous. The school waives tuition for people who are Native American and Alaska Native, and inclusive education is part of its mission. But its history is steeped in violence against Native people, first as a military post to combat tribal nations and then as a boarding school to force Native children to assimilate to Eurocentric culture.
The college continues to reckon with that history. Lee Bitsóí is the associate vice president for diversity affairs at Fort Lewis. He's also special advisor to the president for Indigenous affairs.