Wednesday Feb 6, 2019
Albuquerque, NM 87106
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This presentation focuses on Crownpoint, a region affiliated with Tsoodził (Mt. Taylor, sacred mountain of the South), to understand challenges of Diné students in the 20th century.
Farina King (Ph.D. Arizona State University) is an Assistant Professor of History at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She is also an affiliate of the Cherokee and Indigenous Studies Department. During the 2016-2017 academic year, Professor King was The David J. Weber Fellow for the Study of Southwestern America at the Clements Center for Southwest Studies of Southern Methodist University. She is the author of The Earth Memory Compass: Diné Landscapes and Education in the Twentieth Century (University Press of Kansas, 2018). Her main area of research is colonial and post-colonial Indigenous Studies, primarily Indigenous experiences of colonial and distant education. Her current research traces the changes in Navajo educational experiences through the twentieth century, using a hybrid approach of the Diné Four Directions.
Although many Navajos went to on-reservation schools, such as the Crownpoint Indian Boarding School, their schooling separated them from home and complicated their relationships with home(land). This presentation focuses on Crownpoint, a region affiliated with Tsoodził (Mount Taylor, sacred mountain of the South), to understand challenges of Diné students in the twentieth century. By examining student writings from the 1930s and intergenerational perspectives of the Crownpoint Boarding School, Farina King emphasizes the ongoing struggle to not teach “Indians to be Indians” but to “teach the Diné to be Diné.”