The Way Home Mobile Exhibit
The focus of THE WAY HOME TOUR is not about blame or lawsuits; rather the focus is on truth, reconciliation, and forgiveness. The voice of death and despair needs to be heard so healing in Indian communities can begin. This is not just a Native American issue; given the truth and the facts, people do care. Now is the time to make a difference, so that this dark 100 year period in history of cultural genocide is never repeated.
Not only was this policy of forced assimilation directed at those as young as 2½ years who were least able to survive the effects of isolation, punishment for expressing their only known teachings, language and way of life; but, the communities from which these children were taken were left with the despair of parents and elders knowing that the lifeblood of their families and reason for being were taken away with no hope of recovery.
Tens of thousands of Native American children were taken from their families and tribal cultures and shipped off to federally-funded Indian boarding schools scattered across the United States. Upon arrival these Indian children were given haircuts in an effort to remove their Indian identity, were punished if they spoke their Native language or practiced their ceremonies, and were required to wear government issued clothing.
A mobile, multi-media exhibit on the boarding schools will travel with THE WAY HOME TOUR across the United States. Photos, historical videos, and documents from the Heard Museum in Phoenix, will be the foundation for the exhibit. The focus will be on the history of the schools, stories of personal experiences, intergenerational trauma and its impact on Indian communities, and Indian education in the future.
*Photos courtesy of the Heard Museum - Phoenix
Printable version of this page