Robin Levin, Head of Library Services at Fort Washakie School/Community Library and Holocaust Fellow presented “Taken from My Home: Indian Boarding Schools in Perspective, Told by Teenagers Who Lived the Unthinkable” at the Rock Springs Library on November 29th. A discussion followed the presentation featuring a panel of students from the Fort Washakie School.
This presentation and discussion is a program available for libraries across the state. The following is more information about the program.
American Indian children were placed in boarding schools to be assimilated into white American culture beginning with the Carlisle Indian School opened in 1879 and continuing for nearly 100 years. This history has yielded complex repercussions throughout Indian country which persist today. However, even though government policies attempted to eliminate tribal cultures, Native American identity persists and adapts with changes, as it has for millennia.
Students attending Fort Washakie Charter High School know their family histories relative to the Boarding School Movement. Their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and in some cases their parents attended these mandatory institutions. But only recently have these youth had the chance to pursue the question in school. Indeed, they are eager and poised to discuss the ramifications with your community.
We begin with a viewing of “Taken From My Home: Boarding Schools in the Perspective of Teens Who Attended.” This 43-minute documentary was produced on the Wind River Reservation with the endorsement of both tribal councils [Eastern Shoshone, Northern Arapaho]. Then the floor is open to Q&A the audience and students.
School history and culture classes, academics and interested citizens have praised the presentation already seen in Fremont, Park and Sweetwater Counties.