Discussion on Legacy of Native American Boarding Schools comes to Evergreen Nov. 16

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November 14, 2022
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Deborah Parker portrait photo

OLYMPIA – The Evergreen State College’s House of Welcome will host a forum with a speaker and a panel on “The Legacy of Residential Boarding Schools for Native Americans, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 6-8pm at the s'gʷi gʷi ʔ altxʷ: House of Welcome on The Evergreen State College’s Olympia campus at 2800 Dogtooth Lane, Olympia, WA 98505. 

This event will be an important discussion of Residential Boarding Schools that were established in the 19th century with the objective of assimilating tribal children by disconnecting them from their tribes and cultures. The discussion will focus on schools in Washington state that most impacted regional tribes. Tribal youth were forced to attend these schools where they were punished for speaking their tribal languages as part of a larger practice of taking tribal lands and children. Many of the schools continued until the mid-20th century.  

Keynote speaker for the event, Deborah Parker, Tulalip Tribes, is the chief executive officer of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition. She speaks nationally on the issue of boarding schools and their ongoing effects on Tribal and First Nations peoples across the continent.  

Leading a panel discussion to follow Parker’s keynote is Theresa Sheldon, Tulalip Tribes, who is director of policy and advocacy for the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition. She previously served as Native American coalitions director for the Democratic National Committee and has served as an elected member of the Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors.  

Kara Briggs, Sauk-Suiattle, is vice president for Evergreen’s Tribal Relations, Arts, and Cultures Division, and she is a former president of the Native American Journalists Association. Briggs will serve as the forum moderator.  

The event is a collaboration between Evergreen’s Tribal Relations, Arts, and Cultures Division and the “Asylums: Institutions of Social Control in American History” class. For more information, please visit the webpage