Away From Home – Update

Part 2 — The National Endowment for the Humanities, “Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories” has opened the conversation between this generation and the previous generation about what occurred during the time of the Boarding School Era. Which is where we start to ask our grandparents about what they experienced from that time.

I asked my grandpa all about what he experienced during his time at the boarding school he attended. My grandpa, Oliver Iyua, attended Intermountain Boarding School in Utah. The boarding school taught him how to dance, various sports, and how to speak English. While there if he spoke in his Native Language, Navajo, he would get his mouth washed out with soap. But he said going to boarding school was good for him because from everything he learned is what got him his job and his family. The school he attended only went to 8th grade so he never got a high school diploma. Once they were done with school he was told to pick a place that he wanted to live and look for work. He chose to go to Chicago, Illinois.

Even though he went through all of this I was curious if he would ever go and visit the “Away from Home” traveling exhibit. He said he would so he could see what others experienced during their time there. Also that he didn’t care if these stories were being shared because it was a long time ago. He knows that everyone has experienced their time at their boarding school differently. Maybe seeing how everyone experienced the Boarding School Era will give us the knowledge of what our grandparents had experienced and brought us closer at this time.


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