One of Kym’s photos , which was incredibly beautiful, inspired me to share my own.
As you may have guessed, this is not the photo I had in mind.
I truly meant to post a lovely landscape photo, but couldn’t find it on my computer. This one came up instead and is certainly more important than a grove of trees.
The young man on the left is my husband’s second cousin. He attended the Sherman Institute , along with many of his family members, in the 1920s and 1930s.
During that time Native Americans were not able to attend “white” high schools. Local tribal members attended Hoopa High or went to Riverside.
The history of the Native American boarding schools is huge and I will only touch on it right now, but is certainly history to be aware of. I once spoke to “Edie”, a local Wiyot woman, about her experience.
Edie was sent to the Hoopa Indian School in the 1920s when she was five years old. She traveled first to Arcata where she stayed the night and readied for the all day trip (that started at 6 a.m.) over the hills to the Hoopa Indian School. When she was 7 or 8, she convinced her parents to let her board the train and go to the Riverside school with her big brothers. She liked it there, she claimed, though she worked a lot.
Her great grandmother had survived the Indian Island Massacre. Yet, yet… Edie didn’t know her Wiyot language because she was never, in all her youth, home to learn it.