11 June 2016

Grandfather Soldier

My grandfather, Jose Martinez, was 12 years old when he left home and became a student at the United States Indian Vocational Training School -- otherwise known as the Indian School -- in Phoenix, Arizona. After a few years, he left school and enlisted to fight overseas during the Great War. Although closed in 1990, the school still stands, along with a memorial to the students who enlisted.

The Heard Museum (Phoenix) is currently showing the exhibition Remembering Our Indian School Days: The Boarding School Experience which details some of the memories of children who attended -- many against their will or that of their families -- some of these Indian schools around the country.

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