The Department of History and the College of Liberal Arts at Washington State University Vancouver will present a two-day symposium titled “Boarding School Generations,” from 7:00 -9:00 P.M on March 30-31, 2011. The symposium focuses on personal and family narratives and the impact of federal boarding schools on the history and culture of American Indian peoples in the Northwest. All symposium events are located in Administration Building 110 on the Washington State University Vancouver campus and are free and open to the public.
Brenda J. Child, chair of the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota and an enrolled member of the Red Lake Ojibwe, will open the event with a keynote address,”Boarding School Generations: Reflections on Experience, Meaning and Memory,” on March 30. Child is an internationally known scholar and the author of two important books which use letters from students and their families to frame American Indian perspectives on the boarding school experience. Her publications include the award-winning _Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940_ (1998) and _Away From Home_ (2000).
Following her lecture, Child will join Jeffrey Ostler, University of Oregon; Robbie Paul (Nez Perce), WSU Spokane; and Robert McCoy, WSU Pullman in a multidisciplinary panel moderated by Steven Fountain, WSU Vancouver. The group will explore the impact and legacy of the boarding school experience through the lenses of history, health, federal Indian policy, and American Indian studies.
The second night of the symposium, “Telling Stories: American Indian Testimony and Community Forum,” begins with the testimonies of four tribal elders about their families’ boarding school experiences at Chemawa Indian School and elsewhere. After adding her own family narrative, Robbie Paul will moderate a forum for members of the local American Indian community wishing to share their personal and family boarding school stories—past and present. Receptions and book signings will follow both evening events.
To accompany the two-day symposium, the WSU Vancouver Library is mounting an exhibit of rare books, historic photographs, objects and memorabilia from Chemawa Indian School titled “Boarding School Generations: Image and Experience at Chemawa Indian School, 1880 – Present.” Curated by Jacqueline Peterson and Linda Edwards, the exhibit opens with a reception at 5 p.m. Friday, March 25 and closes on May 7,2011. The exhibit features rare lantern slides and diaries of Chemawa School Superintendent Edwin L. Chalcraft (1895-1911) loaned by Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections at WSU Pullman; mid-20th century Chemawa yearbooks loaned by Archives and Special Collections, the Mark O. Hatfield Library, Willamette University; and objects and art assembled by students and faculty from Chemawa Indian School, Salem, Oregon.
The “Boarding School Generations” exhibit also includes a panel display of photographs and documents of three generations of the Paul Family and a computer station linked to WSU’s Plateau Portal, a new web-based archival and museum collections partnership with Northwest Tribes. If you plan to visit, check library hours at http://library.vancouver.wsu.edu/library-hours.
Boarding School Generations” is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, ASWSU, and the History, Anthropology and Diversity Clubs at WSU Vancouver; the Museum of Anthropology, the Tribal Liaison Office, and The Plateau Center for American Indian Studies at WSU Pullman; and WSU Libraries.
Washington State University Vancouver
14204 NE Salmon Creek Ave.
Vancouver, WA 98686-9600
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