American Indians are the only ethnic group in the United States who, for generations, were subjected to forced education by the federal government. In the early years, Indian children were hunted down and taken by force to boarding schools, residing there for three or more years. These children were stripped of their Native identities, not being allowed to speak their native languages or practice their cultural traditions. This presentation provides historical and social interpretations of this painful era in American Indian history, examining the U.S. federal laws that put it into motion and the drastic life changes that occurred across the Indian Nations as a result.
Evangeline Parsons Yazzie, Ed.D., is a Professor of Navajo at Northern Arizona University. A Navajo woman originally from the small community of Hardrock on the Navajo Reservation, Parsons Yazzie teaches and writes on behalf of Navajo elders as a means of acknowledging and honoring her parents for their gifts of language, culture-knowledge, and teachings. She is an award-winning author of a bilingual children’s book, the co-author of a Navajo language textbook for high school and college students and, most recently, the author of a fictional romance novel based on Navajo historical events.