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ERIC Number: ED421707
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Lettered Resistance at the Genoa Indian School, Genoa, Nebraska (1884-1934).
Goodburn, Amy
Little attention has been paid to students' specific literacy practices within Indian boarding schools. This paper examines the letter writing practices of students from the Genoa Industrial Indian School (GIS) in Genoa, Nebraska, from 1884-1934. The paper "reads" the letters as social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, pointing out that the letters were often used by school administrators to promote public awareness about Indian education and to construct and disseminate public images of Native American identity. Students' letters home were read by GIS teachers before they were sent to ensure that negative representations of the school would not be circulated, but sometimes the letters were used in "nonsanctioned" ways--to criticize the school's administrative practices, for example. To preserve the school's history, some Genoa citizens created brochures, renovated the remaining building into a museum, and held an annual reunion for former GIS students and their descendants. In 1991, letters solicited from former students about their experiences were collected in a yearbook and distributed to reunion participants. The town newspaper printed two contemporary letters written between a former GIS student and his white boyhood friend, and that, just as the long ago letters represent a contact zone, these letters function as a contemporary contact zone as these individuals participate in a public dialogue that seeks to work out representations of the school's history. Paragraphs from two early letters and "Rules for Letter-Writing" (1917) are appended. (Contains 28 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nebraska