Revisiting the Hopi Boarding School Experience at Sherman Institute and the Process of Making Research Meaningful to Community

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New book on Sherman Institute/Sherman Indian High School Available for Pre-Order

Screenshot 2014-01-04 10.00.10Historian Diana Meyers Bahr has written a new book on Sherman Institute (now called Sherman Indian High School), an off-reservation federal Indian boarding school in Riverside, California. Unlike other books on Sherman that focus on specific eras or subjects, Bahr’s manuscript is the first comprehensive account of the school. I’ve already read through several drafts, and I’m certain that it will be well received by students, faculty, and others interested in the education of American Indian people. I was especially pleased to read what Bahr had uncovered about the school from the 1960s to the present, which is an often overlooked period in Sherman’s history. Bahr has published other books, including Viola Martinez, California Paiute: Living In Two Worlds, and The Unquiet Nisei: An Oral History of the Life of Sue Kunitomi Embrey. Her book on Sherman is scheduled to appear in April, but you can pre-order your copy today.

UPCOMING TALK: “Hopi Runner Harry Chaca and the 1929 Vallejo Pre-Olympic National Marathon”, UC Riverside, February 7

I am scheduled to give a talk entitled “Hopi Runner Harry Chaca and the 1929 Vallejo Pre-Olympic National Marathon” this Thursday February 7 at 1:30PM.

My presentation is part of the two-day symposium, “Sherman Institute: The American Indian Boarding School Experience”, which will be held at UC Riverside’s Costo Library.

For more information about the gathering, please visit UC Riverside, Sherman Indian High School Host Symposium

Below is the schedule for the event:

Sherman Institute: The American Indian Boarding School Experience

February 7, 2013: Costo Library (4th Floor Rivera Library)

9 AM: Wlecome by Clifford E. Trafzer and Lorene Sisquoc, Moderators

Invocation by Henry Vasquez

9:30-10: David Adams (Cleveland St. University), “What We Don’t Know about the
History of Indian Boarding Schools”

10-10:30: Robert McCoy (Washington St. University), “Building to Assimilate:
Mission Architecture of Sherman Institute”

10:30-11: Diana Bahr (UCLA), “Robert Kennedy and Sherman Institute, A Promise
Fulfilled.”

11-11:30: Leleua Loupe (CSU Fullerton), “A Network of Control: Exploiting
Indigenous Labor in the West”

11:30-12: Kevin Whalen (UCR), “Indian School and Company Town: Sherman
Student-Laborers at Fontana Farms Company, 1907-1930″

Lunch Break

1:30-2: Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert (University of Illinois), “Hopi Runner Harry
Chaca and the 1929 Vallejo Pre-Olympic National Marathon”

2-2:30: William O. Medina (Riverside Community College), “Patriotic Indians at
Sherman Institute”

2:30-3: Jason Davis (CSU San Bernardino), “Paradigm Shift: Assimilation to
Preservation at Sherman Indian School”

3-3:30: Kathleen Bartosh (UCLA), “Domesticity and Defense: The Female Experience
at the Sherman Institute, 1930-1960.”

3:30-4: Jean Keller (Palomar College), “Before Sherman Institute: The Perris Indian
School.”

Rupert Costo Chair, California Center for Native Nations, Native American Student
Programs, Native American Educational Program of UC Riverside and the Sherman
Indian Museum offer this Symposium as Sponsors.

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Sherman Institute: The American Indian Boarding School Experience

February 8, 2013, Sherman Indian High School Auditorium

9-10:  Panel 1,  Former Students, Staff, and Faculty

10-11:  Panel 2,  Current Students, Staff, and Faculty

11-12:  Panel 3,  Sherman Scholars and Historians

12-1:  Lunch Break

1-4:  Sherman School Museum is Open

2-3:  Visit to Sherman School Cemetery

Symposium is sponsored by the Sherman School Museum and Costo Chair, California Center for Native Nations, Native American Educational Program,

and Native American Student Programs of UC Riverside. 

FIRST PEOPLES features The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue

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This month Oregon State University Press officially launched my co-edited (with Clifford E. Trafzer and Lorene Sisquoc) book The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue: Voices and Images from Sherman Institute. The book is part of the First Peoples, New Directions in Indigenous Studies, initiative. Yesterday, Natasha Varner at First Peoples published a post about the book on their blog. She quoted at length from my Conclusion. Here’s the first paragraph of my Conclusion which I titled “An Open Vault”:

On a warm October day in 2004, I drove my car south on Magnolia Avenue in Riverside and made my way to Sherman Indian High School for the Sherman Indian Museum Open House. The event was a festive occasion, as alumni from across the nation came together to remember their school days and visit with old friends. Outside the Museum, the school’s choir was singing their alma mater, “The Purple and Gold,” and a group of older Sherman alums were taking refuge from the heat by sitting in the shade of a large palm tree. Near the school’s flagpole, children were laughing and playing, while their parents listened contentedly to the choir. The smell of frybread permeated the air.

To read the entire Conclusion, and to learn more about the book, be sure to check out the First Peoples website. They have done a terrific job in promoting the book on-line and at various academic conferences.

All royalties from this book will go to help fund educational and cultural programming at the Sherman Indian Museum in Riverside, CA.

The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue – Now Available for Pre-Order

The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue: Voices and Images from Sherman Institute, is now available for pre-order. You can pre-order the book from several venues, including Oregon State University Press ($24.95) and Amazon ($22.52). Royalties from the book will go to support educational programs at the Sherman Indian Museum in Riverside, California. The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue is scheduled to appear this December.

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

I recently co-edited a book (with Clifford E. Trafzer and Lorene Sisquoc) on Sherman Institute.  It will appear soon with Oregon State University Press. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover. The cover depicts a Navajo student reading a book entitled “Peter’s Family” (1930s). We uncovered this photo at the Sherman Indian Museum archive in Riverside, California. The title of the photo is “See How We Read.”

If you have a minute, be sure to visit Debbie Reese’s blog post where she writes at length about “Peter’s Family.” The photo was taken during the school’s Special Five-Year Navajo Program (late 1940s and 1950s).  Jon Ille, an advanced  Ph.D. student in history at UC Riverside, wrote a chapter in our book about this Program. I’ll write more about the anthology as the book’s launch date (Fall 2012) gets closer.

Beyond the Mesas to air tonight on KVCR Channel 24.2 – San Bernardino/Riverside

For those who live in the San Bernardino/Riverside area, Beyond the Mesas will air tonight at 9PM PST on KVCR, Digital Channel 24.2, First Nations Experience, a new Native American channel. See below for additional information.

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Indian Boarding Schools: Keeping the Culture Alive: Beyond the Mesas #101

Wednesday, September 28, 09:00 pm PST on FNX (First Nations Experience) Digital 24.2

Broadcast In: English

Description: Produced with the full participation of The Hopi Cultural Preservation Office, Beyond The Mesas tells the stories of the federal government’s efforts to assimilate and acculturate Hopis, the visit by four Hopi chiefs to Washington, the subsequent Oraibi split, and the forced removal and experiences of Hopi children in off-reservation boarding schools such as the Sherman Institute and the Phoenix and Stewart Indian Schools. Faced with the enforced loss of their language in their children, vastly outnumbered by a technologically advanced military that had the power to annihilate them, enlightened Hopi leadership sought a peaceful middle ground that would preserve the best of Hopi culture and combine it with the best of the white man’s culture. Both federal policies and pressure to resist from within the Hopi community challenged this strategy.

Run Time: 0:26:45
Captions: 608 Captions

Education beyond the Mesas temporarily available for FREE download

I am pleased to announce that Education beyond the Mesas: Hopi Students at Sherman Institute, 1902-1929 (University of Nebraska Press, 2010) is temporarily available for free download through Project MUSE.

It has always been my desire that people on and off the Hopi Reservation will have access to my research, and the University of Nebraska Press’s decision to allow my book to be featured on Project MUSE, is a major step in that direction.

However, free access to Education beyond the Mesas via Project MUSE will only last until January 2012. See the Project MUSE website for more details.

To download Education beyond the Mesas, please click on the above image or visit the following link: http://beta.muse.jhu.edu/books/9780803234444

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

Sherman Indian Museum and UC Riverside

I recently returned from the 25th Anniversary California Indian Conference held at the University of California, Irvine. My former graduate advisor from UC Riverside, Cliff Trafzer, organized a panel on Sherman Institute titled “Out of the Vault.” In addition to myself, the panel members included Lorene Sisquoc, Director of the Sherman Indian Museum, Galen Townsend, Sherman Indian Museum Volunteer, Kevin Whalen, a graduate student in history at UCR, and Leleua Loupe of California State University, Fullerton.

Sisquoc began the panel by talking about the unique relationship between UCR and the Museum. For the past 10 or so  years, UCR history graduate students have worked alongside Sisquoc as researchers, volunteers, and interns. Beginning with Jean A. Keller, author of the first book on Sherman Institute, Empty Beds, graduate students have utilized the Museum’s collections to write two monographs, and several master theses, dissertations, and articles. Today, the mutually beneficial relationship between UCR and the Museum continues, and provides an excellent model of collaboration and community.

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert