Archive for December, 2009



New Movie – “The Only Good Indian” A Kevin Willmott film

Starring Cherokee actor Wes Studi, and directed by Kevin Willmott, The Only Good Indian tells a story about a Kickapoo pupil form Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas, who ran away from school in the early 1900s to return to his family on the reservation.  I have not seen the movie, and so I do not know if Hopis are referenced or portrayed in the film.  Although most Hopis who went to off-reservation Indian boarding schools attended institutions in the West, some Hopis sought further training at Haskell Institute after they graduated from schools such as Sherman Institute and the Phoenix Indian School.  To learn more about the film, click here.

NAJA on closure of Hopi newspaper

Ronnie Washines, President of the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), has written a statement in the Native American Times on the recent developments surrounding the Hopi Tutuveni. Washines notes that “A fully functioning government needs a voice that can disseminate updated news and information regarding the factual status of that government at any given time. Newspapers, especially tribal newspapers, are in a position to provide accurate news reports from a unique vantage point and the Hopi tribal members should not be denied their accessibility to such an important news source as the Tutuveni.” To read the entire article in today’s edition of Native American Times, click here.

Hopis and earthquakes

When I screen Beyond the Mesas I enjoy taking questions from the audience. Some people ask me to explain more about the Orayvi Split, Chief Tawaquaptewa, or the reasons why the film makers produced the film. At a screening in the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois, Adelaide Aime asked me if there was anything that was not in the film that I wish we had included. This is a great question. The film producers spent a week on the Hopi Reservation to conduct interviews. We had many hours of material to work with, but due to time and budget constraints, we only used 35 minutes of the interviews in the final cut. One of the stories that I wish we had included in the film spoke to a unique occurence that Hopis experienced at Sherman Institute. Of the five people we interviewed who went to Sherman, two of these individuals talked about what it was like for them to experience an earthquake. Although I have written about Hopis and earthquakes at Sherman in my forthcoming book, it would have been great if these stories were also part of the film.

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

No hope for the Hopi newspaper

The Hopi Tribal Council has passed a budget that will eliminate the Hopi Tutuveni, the official newspaper of the Hopi Tribe. Over the years, Stewart Nicholas, editor of the Hopi Tutuveni, and his staff have produced a remarkable paper. As I mentioned in a previous post, I believe that the closure of the paper is a major loss for the Hopi people. According to a report in the Arizona Daily Sun, the last issue of the Hopi Tutuveni will be in mid-December.


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© Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS, 2009-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About the author

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert (Hopi) is Professor and Director of American Indian Studies and Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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New book on Hopi runners!

Revisiting the Hopi Boarding School Experience at Sherman Institute and the Process of Making Research Meaningful to Community (JAIE, 2018)

Education beyond the Mesas: Hopi Students at Sherman Institute, 1902-1929 (University of Nebraska Press, 2010)

Introduction to Education beyond the Mesas (2010)

The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue: Voices and Images From Sherman Institute (Oregon State University Press, 2012)

Foreward to Don Talayesva’s Sun Chief: An Autobiography of A Hopi Indian (2013)

Foreword to Kevin Whalen’s Native Students at Work: American Indian Labor and Sherman Institute’s Outing Program, 1900-1945

A Second Wave of Hopi Migration (HEQ, 2014)

Marathoner Louis Tewanima and the Continuity of Hopi Running, 1908-1912 (WHQ, 2012). Winner of Spur Award for Best Western Short Nonfiction, Western Writers of America (2013)

Hopi Footraces and American Marathons, 1912-1930 (AQ, 2010)

The Hopi Followers: Chief Tawaquaptewa and Hopi Student Advancement at Sherman Institute, 1906-1909 (JAIE, 2005)

Constitution and Bylaws of the Hopi Tribe (With all amendments, click to download)

Click to listen to KUYI On-Line

Matt’s Goodreads

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