President’s Circle Virtual Happy Hour
“Remembering the History of American Indian Boarding Schools” with Brenda J. Child
As members of the President’s Circle and Legacy Circle, you are cordially invited to attend a Virtual Happy Hour with President Michael F. Brown and SAR alumna and newly elected board member Brenda J. Child (Ojibwe), who teaches at the University of Minnesota. Professor Child will discuss renewed public interest in the history of Indian boarding schools.
With many reeling with the discovery of graves at Indian residential schools in Canada earlier this year, Professor Child will reflect on her life’s work and research of American Indian board schools, including consulting for the Heard Museum’s last-standing exhibition, Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories, and her 1998 publication, Board School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940. Boarding School Seasons offers a revealing look at the strong emotional history of Indian boarding school experiences in the first half of the twentieth century.
Children, who often attended schools at great distances from their communities, suffered from homesickness, and their parents from loneliness. Parents worried continually about the emotional and physical health and the academic progress of their children. Families clashed repeatedly with school officials over rampant illnesses and deplorable living conditions and devised strategies to circumvent severely limiting visitation rules. Family intimacy was threatened by the school’s suppression of traditional languages and Native cultural practices.
Professor Child will reveal that there is no single boarding school narrative. As we take time to remember those students who died, we must also be mindful of resistance and resilience in the historical records of American Indian students who survived an education for assimilation. It is a tribute to our ancestors when we get their history right.
This event is free and open to members of the President’s Circle and Legacy Circle. Please RSVP to Lindsay Archuleta at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will send you the instructions to join via Zoom. Space is limited, so please reserve your spot today.
Brenda Child is Northrop Professor and former Chair of the Departments of American Studies and American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of several books in American Indian history including Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940 (1998), which won the North American Indian Prose Award; Holding Our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of Community (2012); Her 2014 book My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks: Ojibwe Family Life and Labor on the Reservation won the American Indian Book Award. She is the author of a best-selling bi-lingual book for children, Bowwow Powwow (2018). She was a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of the American Indian-Smithsonian (2013-18) and was President of the Native American & Indigenous Studies Association (2017-18). She was consultant to a major exhibit, Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories at the Heard Museum. Child was born on the Red Lake Ojibwe Reservation in northern Minnesota where she is part of a committee developing a new constitution for the 15,000-member nation.