In 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant invited Protestant denominations to take over the management of American Indian reservations and agencies. His hope was that this move would cut down on reported government corruption while simultaneously helping to “civilize” the Indians. The American Unitarian Association (AUA) accepted charge of the district covering the Colorado reservation occupied by various tribes of the Ute, consisting of about 8,000 people. Eventually the mission was moved to Montana, and established as The Montana Industrial School for Indians.
Read the UU World account of this history here.
The most complete history can be found here: Dana Capasso Stivers, “The Montana Industrial School for Indians at Romona Ranch,” Journal of Unitarian Universalist History Vol. XLI (2017-2018): 38-65.