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.
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
Yesterday evening I discovered that the First Peoples New Directions in Indigenous Studies initiative featured BEYOND THE MESAS on their blog! If you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out their website.
Their blog is a wonderful resource for those who want to stay informed about the latest books on indigenous studies, with an emphasis on books published by the University of Arizona Press, University of North Carolina Press, University of Minnesota Press, and Oregon State University Press.
One of the books that they recently highlighted was Jodi Byrd’s The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism (University of Minnesota Press, 2011), which is due to come out in just a short few weeks. Jodi is my colleague and good friend at the University of Illinois.
Again, many thanks to Natasha Varner, Program Coordinator for the initiative, for spreading the word about BEYOND THE MESAS and other Native authored blogs!
Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert
I want to extend a big kwakwha’ to my friend and colleague, Debbie Reese, for telling me about a free program called Google Search Stories. On Wednesday of this week she gave a lecture on her use of social media at the University of Illinois, which is where she told the audience about Google Search Stories.
This program allows people to make Google search engine videos on any topic. The search terms that I included in my video are terms that people often use to get to BEYOND THE MESAS. In case you’re wondering, Search Story videos are very easy to make. Just click on the following link for more information: http://www.youtube.com/user/searchstories
I hope you enjoy the video!
Last night I came across this 26 minute video on Tewa-Hopi artist Dan Namingha from Polacca titled “Seeking Center in Two Worlds.” From what I can tell, the video was produced in August 1992 and it was shown on various PBS affiliated stations. Here is the video summary on the KNME Chanel 5 (Albuquerque, NM) website:
Life is a balance for painted and sculptor Dan Namingha. Balance between the high stakes art world and his American Indian origins; balance between his distinctive abstract painting and sculpting, and his expression of the ideas and concepts of his native religion; and balance between his Hopi and Tewa origins and the dominant Anglo culture. Only thirty-four years old, Namingha uses traditional themes and concepts in his unique modern vision to communicate an essence of something beyond himself, something deeply spiritual and universally direct.
If “Seeking Center in Two Worlds” is of interest to you, then I would suggest seeing Allan Holzman’s film “Beautiful Resistance,” which examines the Indian boarding school experience through contemporary American Indian art, including works by Hopi artist Michael Kabotie. I have written about this film in a previous post. Holzman was also the director and co-executive producer of “Beyond the Mesas.”
On Saturday September 18, 2010, I had a special opportunity to screen BEYOND THE MESAS and give a presentation to my family at the village of Upper Moencopi’s Community Center. The screening and presentation were part of the Sakiestewa/Honanie Annual Family Reunion. About 60 people attended the event.
I have screened BEYOND THE MESAS at several universities in the United States, and I have shown it at other locations on the Hopi Reservation, but this was the first time the documentary was screened at Upper Moencopi. The film was well received and it led into a discussion on the benefits and negative consequences of Hopi attendance at off-reservation Indian boarding schools.
After the screening I passed out student case files that I collected at the National Archives in Laguna Niguel, California (now located in Perris, California). The files belong to members of the Sakiestewa and Honanie families who attended Sherman Institute or the Phoenix Indian School from 1906 to the 1940s. Most of the files included school applications, report cards, and handwritten and typed letters.
As a Hopi professor at the University of Illinois I am thankful for the opportunities that I have to bring my research back to the Hopi community. This has always been a driving force behind my work.
Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert