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Sherman Institute greyscale image ca 1960-1970

Native American Boarding School Oral/Visual Stories

Resource Type
Grade Level:
6–8, 9–12, 12+
Social Studies
Native Americans

Educational Video

A visual history archive of the following Native American boarding school survivors and alumni: 

Brett Shelton, Bessie Smith, Tink Tinker, Hanay Geiogamah, Michael Carroll, Eugene Herrod, Joe Runningfox, Gilbert Mojado, Saginaw Grant, Anne Hamilton, Debbie Kessler, Jenny Imitates Dog, Cleno Jefferson, Ron Sparks, Jane and Gilbert Mojado, Harrison Lowe, E Martin & A Lacy, Ann Begay

The following interviews contain personal stories from former boarding school students. For some, this can be triggering. For a list of resources, please visit


CA HSS: 8.8.2

CA HSS: 11.10.5

Teaching Tips for Different Learning Environments

Individual/Whole Class:

  • Assign Individual Students or Pairs to Different Oral Stories told by the Native American Boarding School attendees.
  • Students should take notes on the following:
    • Basic Information: Ex: Date of interview, name of interviewee, birth date, tribal affiliation(s), reservation and location (if applicable), language spoken:
    • Growing Up: Ex: Who lived with, what ate, clothing, relatives, traditions, activities
    • Experience Boarding School: Ex: Family history with boarding school, personal experience – both positives and negatives
  • Students share out about their assigned Native community member’s individual experience at boarding schools
  • Class discusses similarities and differences between the boarding school experiences


All videos along with transcripts can be access HERE

Educational Programs at the Autry are sponsored by:

Dean and Laura Beresford · Molly and Neal Brockmeyer · Vince and Colleen Caballero · Capital Group · David F. Eisenberg · The Georgina-Fredrick Children's Foundation · Christy McAvoy · Marleen and Bruce Rognlien · Robert E. Ronus · Brenda and Gary Ruttenberg · The Steinmetz Foundation · Virginia F. Stevenson · Thelma Pearl Howard Foundation

Land Acknowledgment

The Autry Museum of the American West acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). We recognize that the Autry Museum and its campuses are located on the traditional lands of Gabrielino/Tongva peoples and we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

The Autry Museum in Griffith Park

4700 Western Heritage Way

Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462
Located northeast of downtown, across from the Los Angeles Zoo.
Map and Directions

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