These are hard times, I know. But universities and education are getting hit especially hard, and this includes our wonderful university presses. My first book, The Earth Memory Compass: Diné Landscapes and Education in the Twentieth Century, was published in 2018 by the University Press of Kansas and we (the authors of the books published by the press) were recently told that our press might be closing down due to all the financial challenges. This being said, I am going to spread the word out there and encourage people now to support knowledge, education, learning, and our future.
Also it is not too late to save the press, and I am on a mission along with many missions that I am sure you will hear more about by being connected to me- to support education and community through generations with consideration of the many generations ahead and of our ancestors who paved the way for us. This mission includes getting the word out there in support of saving the University Press of Kansas.
When I was a college student, one of the first books that I read cover to cover was published by this press, titled Education for Extinction that revealed the hard and traumatic history of Indian boarding school experiences. I was inspired then to write a book myself one day, which I finally did with the same press and with an endorsement by that same author, David Wallace Adams, who wrote the groundbreaking book (that one I read back in college).
Please help any way that you can whether it’s to buy my book or another great book from the University Press of Kansas and share that you did this and encourage others to support and spread the word to save the university press and support our scholarly presses. You can even just share my posts about it on social media (I have Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook). Please let me know if you have any questions about this.
Thank you for your consideration and all your support. This work would have never been done without many of you, my family and friends, whether it was the tender kindness, good laughs, taking care of me as a child into adulthood, and some of you for sharing your story with me, especially my dad, aunties, uncles, cousins, and kin of their boarding school days. Dad and Mom traveled with me for this book. Mom came to an archive caring for my baby at the time, and Dad would sit on many meetings with me to help interpret in Navajo and shared his childhood stories of boarding school (some of which I hear some of my siblings retelling which I am grateful to know). Remember always.
Check out this video I am sharing of a precious memory of when I opened my first book in print for the first time with family- it gives a glimpse into how precious this work is to me and my family.
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 for. 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).
“The Fluidity of Power,” This Land is Herland, a series of programs on women’s activism in Oklahoma, The Oklahoma Historical Society and the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, August 13, 2020. This program considers how women in early Oklahoma found ways to wield power. Topics and speakers for the evening were: “An ‘Intrepid Pioneer Leader’: The A-Suffrage Gendered Activism of Kate Barnard,” by Dr. Sunu Kodumthara, Southwestern Oklahoma State University; “‘My Heart Had Been Burdened for the Orphaned and Homeless Children’: Religious Imperative and Maternalism in the Work of Mattie Mallory,” by Dr. Heather Clemmer, Southern Nazarene University; and “A ‘Loyal Countrywoman’: Rachel Caroline Eaton, Alumna of the Cherokee National Female Seminary,” by Dr. Farina King, Northeastern State University.
“Global Event: Native American Women Historical Trailblazers,” Girl Scouts, Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, August 9, 2020.
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.