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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Shimásání dóó shicheii bi’ólta’ - My Grandmother’s and Grandfather’s School: The Old Leupp Boarding School, A Historic Archaeological Site on the Navajo Reservation
by Two Bears, Davina Ruth, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2019, 345; 22616943
Abstract (Summary)

My research documents the history of the Old Leupp Boarding School (OLBS), a Navajo federal Indian boarding school in operation from 1909-1942, as it explores Diné (Navajo) survivance within the context of this school. I utilize decolonizing research methods framed by postcolonial theory to investigate the past of the OLBS, which currently exists as a historic archaeological site. Aside from documenting the history of this school, which has never been done before, I consider the questions, and begin to partially answer, how my Diné ancestors flexed their agency within a particular federal Indian boarding school, how they utilized their Diné foundations to meet the challenges imposed upon them by a settler society, and what were and are the positive stories of Native survivance achieved within the OLBS. The data for my analysis consist primarily of archival records, historic documents and photographs; but I also draw from the results of oral history interviews that I conducted with seven Navajo elders, who attended the OLBS in the past.

My research contributes to postcolonial anthropology as a study of culture change, the subaltern, and resistance under colonial conditions; it contributes to Native American and Indigenous Studies, as research of Navajo history and survivance within a federal Indian boarding school context in the early 20th century; and it is a testament to the physical and emotional strength, intellectual integrity, and traditional cultural values of Navajo elders and ancestors.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pyburn, Anne, Atalay, Sonya
Commitee: Sievert, April, Stoeltje, Beverly, Lepselter, Susan
School: Indiana University
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 81/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, Native American studies
Keywords: Diné history, Historical archaeology, Indian boarding school, Indigenous archaeology, Navajo education, Navajo history
Publication Number: 22616943
ISBN: 9781088394847
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