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Native American Residential Schools, Archives, and Truth and Reconciliation

  • 9 Nov 2022
  • 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Meeting Via Zoom
Native American Residential Schools, Archives, and Truth and Reconciliation

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Time:  3:00 pm ET / 12:00 pm PT


Maka Black Elk (Oglala Lakota) is the Executive Director for Truth and Healing at Red Cloud Indian School, formerly known as Holy Rosary Mission, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Red Cloud is one of the few remaining Jesuit schools serving an indigenous community in the country. As an alumnus of Red Cloud Maka continued his Jesuit education at the University of San Francisco. He returned to Red Cloud after earning his master’s in Peace and Human Rights Education at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Over the past 8 years, Maka has been a high school history teacher, volunteer coordinator, and the director of curriculum during which he earned a master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of Notre Dame.  He serves as a board member of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition. He also has served as an advisor to the Taking Responsibility initiative on clergy sexual abuse at Fordham University.

Archives and historic records of Indian boarding schools serve as a critical step in the effort toward truth and healing from historical harm. Maka will share the ways in which records have provided avenues for healing and truth-telling at Red Cloud Indian School as the institution moves through a process of addressing its role in genocide and intergenerational trauma.

Stephen R. Curley is Director of Digital Archives at the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition and is responsible for the development, professional care, and management of the Coalition's special project: the National Indian Boarding School Digital Archives (NIBSDA). He continues to reaffirm that Tribal archives stand as monuments to the traditional knowledge systems and age-old institutions which have sustained the cultural memories of Tribal peoples. He currently serves on the Society of American Archivists Council for his 2020-2023 term.

The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS) continues to lead with a robust framework for generating greater awareness, education, and tools for learning and healing in response to the ongoing trauma provoked by the federal Indian boarding school policy in the United States. Stephen will speak about how NABS is engaged in a special project that will seek truth through history: The National Indian Boarding School Digital Archive (NIBSDA). This project is the first of its kind to focus on the national boarding school context and will function to identify and catalog key information about records to inform an ecosystem of research, data management, and community collaboration in powerful and unprecedented ways.

Amy Cooper Cary is Head of Special Collections and University Archives at Marquette University, where she oversees the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions collection, as well as other collections related to Native Americans and Catholic missions.  Her past work includes work with the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Archives, as well as conducting instruction sessions for the Culture Keepers Conference (Keshena, WI) and the National Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums Conference.  In addition to serving as archivist at Marquette University, the University of Iowa, and the University of South Dakota, Cary spent seven years as the Director of Archival Studies at the School of Information Studies at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and an additional eight years as an adjunct instructor.

Amy will build on the presentations from Red Cloud Indian School and NABS to discuss how the archival record can support the efforts toward truth and healing.  Working collaboratively with both Red Cloud Indian School and NABS, Amy’s focus is working with organizations to make the holdings of the records of Catholic Mission schools at Marquette University more accessible in support of these efforts.

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