Native Children and Boarding Schools in Oregon
The discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves of Indigenous children on the grounds of boarding schools in Canada has shocked and saddened people across the globe. What is less well known is that similar schools once functioned across the United States. These institutions were designed to break students' ties to Native cultures, languages and beliefs. One of the first residential schools in the nation was founded here in Oregon: Chemawa Indian School. This talk will discuss how and why the school was founded; what daily life was like for its students; work that is being done to document deaths and burials at the school; and how we can confront the boarding school system's legacy of trauma.
Eva Guggemos is the University Archivist and an Associate Professor at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. She has an M.A. in History from Yale University, a Master of Library Science from Simmons University, and a B.A. from the University of Kansas. At Pacific, she oversees the Archives and Museum collections. She has been researching the history of the Forest Grove Indian School for ten years, and recently published a website documenting deaths and burials of children at Chemawa Indian School.