Please sign and support this petition, BYU’s Committee on Race and Inequality Needs a Native American Representative, which serves to remind Brigham Young University (BYU) and its Academic Vice President C. Shane Reese that it is overdue to listen to and value Native American and Indigenous voices at BYU and throughout the country, particularly in higher education. BYU and residents in the area are dwelling in a space shaped by the lives, deaths, and removal of Native Americans and the occupation of their ancestral lands—specifically Utes of what is now considered the region of Provo and Utah County. A newly appointed BYU committee, directed to address issues of race and inequality, needs a representative who understands the unique challenges that Native American BYU students and community face at their university. They need someone who is recognized and respected by their tribal nation and diverse Native American and Indigenous communities for their knowledge and leadership.
“They say that they are like firemen. They know what they signed up. They must fulfill their call for duty.” This is what Mom told me when I asked why Dad has to continue working in the clinic. We are Diné (Navajo). We come from the Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House) clan. My father is born for the Tsi’naajinii (Black Streak Wood People) clan. He is seventy years old and has been practicing medicine since the late 1970s. He is a family and community medicine physician who retired from the Indian Health Service (IHS) but has continued family medicine practice at Monument Valley in the Navajo Nation for the past several years. I used to joke that he would work until he died but now I fear that every day because of COVID-19 or Dikos Nstaaígíí-19 as we call it in Diné bizaad (the Navajo language).
Return Home Intermountain exhibit closing reception and event, Navajo Nation Museum, March 6, 2020.
2020 Phi Alpha Theta/Oklahoma Association of Professional Historians Conference, Norman, February 28-29, 2020.
“A ‘Loyal Countrywoman’: Rachel Caroline Eaton, Alumna of the Cherokee National Female Seminary,” Works-In-Progress Seminar (invited presenter), December 6, 2019, Helmerich Center for American Research and Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
54th Conference of the Mormon History Association, “Isolation and Integration,” June 6-9, 2019, Salt Lake City, Utah. Donate to the MHA Graduate Student and International Scholar Fund through the MHA website.
“Roundtable: Indigenous and ‘Lamanite’ Identities in the Twentieth Century,” June 7, 2019, MHA, Salt Lake City.
“Returning Home: The Art and Poetry of Intermountain Indian School, 1951-1984” public presentation with Farina King and Michael Taylor, Tse’bii’nidzisgai Elementary School, May 17, 2019, Monument Valley, Utah.
“Learning My Heritage Language as a Scholar: Connecting with Community through Diné Bizaad” (invited keynote talk), April 13, 2019, Visions Conference, Northeastern State University.
“Working with the ‘Missing Pieces’ John Hair Cultural Center and Museum Exhibit Design,” Wednesday, April 10, 2-2:50 pm, UC 223, Farina King with Ernestine Berry and NSU Student Presenters Midge Dellinger, Lindsey Chapman, Dillon Morris, and Larry Carney.
“Generations of Women Healers: Reflections from a Life Career in American Indian Health,” Friday, April 12, 1-1:50 pm, UC 224, with Phillip L. Smith.
“Indigenous Women at Texas Christian University: Presence, Absence, and Portrayal,” Friday, April 12, 3-3:50 pm, UC 222, with Scott Langston, Shara Kanerahtiiostha Francis-Herne, Farina King, Theresa Gaul, and Jessica Martinez.
“When the young Diné boy Hopi-Hopi ran away from the Santa Fe Indian Boarding School in the early years of the twentieth century, he carried with him no paper map to guide his way home. Rather, he used knowledge of the region, of the stars, and of the Southwest’s ecology instilled in him from before infancy to help navigate over rivers, through mountains, and across deserts. In The Earth Memory Compass: Diné Landscapes and Education in the Twentieth Century (University of Kansas Press, 2018), Farina King argues that education and the creation of ‘thick’ cultural knowledge played, and continues to play, a central role in the survival of Diné culture. King, Assistant Professor of History at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, takes a unique methodological approach in telling the story of Diné education and knowledge. The Earth Memory Compass is, in King’s words, an ‘autoethnography,’ weaving her personal story of cultural discovery and family history into a larger narrative of Indigenous boarding school experiences and deep learning within families and other sites of indigenous education. The book tracks four of the six sacred directions in Diné culture, East, South, West, and North, each connected with a sacred mountain in the Southwest, and in doing so tells a rich and complicated history of how the Diné people resisted and sometimes embraced American education while never losing their own much older forms of knowledge in the process.”
November 10, 2018, Session on “Institutionalizing Emergency: Boarding Schools and the Crises of Colonialism,”conference theme “States of Emergence,” American Studies Association annual meeting, Atlanta.
November 2, 2018, Session on “Remembering and Memorializing American Indian Education,” The History of Education Society annual meeting, Hotel Albuquerque, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
October 27, 2018, Session on “Understanding Intergenerational Trauma for Indigenous Communities,” 21st Diné Studies Conference theme of “150 Years Later: Acting and Advocating to Empower Our Own Researchers and Healers and Visionaries and Thinkers and Planners and Leaders and Scientists and… Neeznádiin dóo’ąą ashdladiin nááhaigo: Nihidine’é nida’ałkaahígíí, nahałáhí, dahaniihii dóó nitsékeesii dóó naha’áii dóó éé’deitįįhii, doozhóódgóó ba’ahódlí dóó ílį́įgo hiilna’,” Diné College, Tsaile, Arizona.
October 19, 2018, Session on “Indigenizing Cityscapes since the Twentieth Century,” Conference theme of “Re-imagining Race and Ethnicity in the West,” Western History Association annual meeting, San Antonio, Texas.
October 10-12, 2018, Conference theme of “Oral History in Our Challenging Times,” Oral History Association annual meeting, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Guests: Farina King, PhD, Assistant Professor of History, Northeastern State University; Nizhone Meza, JD, Attorney; Tommy Rock, PhD, Environmental Scientist and Founder of Rock Environmental Consulting; Aldean Ketchum, Musician, Flute Builder
Mother Earth’s sacred nature is a common thread through the spiritual beliefs of Native American tribes across the country. We saw reverence for the land unite diverse indigenous communities at the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and in the effort to preserve Bears Ears in Utah. We explore what it is that so deeply binds America’s original inhabitants to the land.
For more about the panel, “Bears Ears: Indigenous Perspectives from San Juan,” please see this blog piece on the Juvenile Instructor (click on hyperlink).
Guest: Farina King, PhD, Assistant Professor, History, Northeastern State University and member of the Navajo Nation
“Monuments of all sorts are a focal point for debate in America today: whether it’s Confederate War memorials, statues of conquering explorers like Columbus or natural landscapes like the Bears Ears National Monument President Trump recently scaled back significantly.
A monument is really about us saying ‘this is a place, a memory, a culture, a history we want to preserve.’ But given the diversity of views and complexity of America’s history, is it any wonder we’re having trouble agreeing on our monuments? Let’s have a look at this from the perspective of America’s indigenous communities.”
Indian Mascot Cases panel before showing of Kenn and John Little’s film “More Than a Word,” November 17, 2017, American Indian Heritage Month, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma. See the full listing of NSU American Indian Heritage Month events on the Center for Tribal Studies website.