Borderlands Lecture Series

SPANIARDS, MEXICANS, AND UTES IN THE UNCOMPAHGRE VALLEY OF WESTERN COLORADO TO 1900

In partnership with the Hispanic Affairs Project, the Ute Museum is proud to host local historian and author Steve Baker.

The history of the Uncompahgre Valley is typically recounted from the perspective of late 19th century white settlement⁠—which commenced in earnest with the removal of the Ute Indians and the few Mexicans who lived among them. There is, however, a seldom-spoken-of history of the valley, when it was claimed by Spain, Mexico, and then the United States. An archaeologist and historian, Baker will discuss the early Spanish, Mexican, and Ute presence on the Western Slope, drawing from his many years of research into the early history of the region and his recent book Juan Rivera’s Colorado, 1765: The First Spaniards Among the Ute and Paiute Indians on the Trails to Teguayo. The book was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award.

Steven G. Baker is an ethnohistorian and registered professional archaeologist from Montrose, Colorado. He has conducted research into the early history of west-central Colorado for nearly 50 years and has served as president of Centuries Research, Inc.