AMERICAN INDIAN BOARDING SCHOOLS: a two-part series

Left: Portrait of Tom Torlino (Navajo) in 1882 as he entered Carlisle Indian School (Pennsylv

AMERICAN INDIAN BOARDING SCHOOLS: a two-part series


American Indian Boarding School Stories: Presence, Absence, Silence, and Ghosts
   a presentation by Dr. K. Tsianina Lomawaima (Mvskoke/Creek Nation, not enrolled), retired professor, former faculty at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
4:00 p.m. Arizona time via Zoom


If you look at textbooks used in most U.S. public schools, you’d think the only Indians living after 1900 were Jim Thorpe and a crew of Navajo Code Talkers. Why consign Indians to the past and ignore us in the present? That “logic of elimination” might spring from the anxiety raised by a basic question: What does it mean that the U.S. is built on Indian land? Dr. Lomawaima takes that question seriously and examines how federal Indian boarding schools sought to erase Native people while the Native people who survived the schools defied the logic of elimination. Stories from Dr. Lomawaima’s father, Curtis Thorpe Carr, help us understand the presences, absences, silences, and ghosts of American Indian boarding school stories, memories, and histories – and how Indian people and Indian land are central to U.S. identity and nationhood. 45 minute presentation plus Q&A.
 

Three Generations of the American Indian Boarding School Experience
   a presentation by Dr. Evangeline Parsons-Yazzie (Diné), professor emerita of Navajo at Northern Arizona University 
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
4:00 p.m. Arizona time via Zoom


The U.S. federal government’s harsh policy of compulsory Indian education in the form of boarding schools began in 1879 and continued through the Great Depression, with boarding schools on and off Indian Reservations remaining prominent through 1970. Presently, boarding schools are still the main means of K-8 education in rural Indian communities. This presentation will impart the dramatic stories of three individuals: a grandfather, his daughter, and his granddaughter who all attended boarding schools throughout the 1920s, the Great Depression, and the mid-1950s through 1971. Telling these stories promotes an understanding of how boarding schools changed the language, culture, lifestyle, and traditions of American Indian people. 45 minute presentation plus Q&A.
 
This series is made possible through a partnership with Arizona Humanities. Dr. Parsons-Yazzie is participating courtesy Arizona Humanities.

 
Photo: Left: Portrait of Tom Torlino (Navajo) in 1882 as he entered Carlisle Indian School (Pennsylvania). Right: Tom Torlino three years later. Public domain.

 
Teachers of grades k-12:
Professional development hours are available for each talk.
An evaluation of each program is required in order to receive a certificate.
Certificates will be emailed.

 

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