NAC welcomed Sec. Haaland on her visit last Thursday.
U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visited the former Phoenix Indian School (1891-1990) on Thursday afternoon, January 19, 2023. Haaland toured the school grounds, now Steele Indian School Park owned by the City of Phoenix, with former Phoenix Indian School student Patty Talahongva, Park Manager Tammy Parker, and Native American Connections’ Phoenix Indian School Visitor Center (PISVC) Director Molita Yazzie, Elena Selestewa, and Dede Yazzie Devine. Haaland took pictures of the students' names on the WWI memorial monument in front of the Memorial Hall, built in 1922, to commemorate the school’s students who fought during WWI.
PISVC Director Molita Yazzie described current work at PISVC that addresses historical traumas by providing cultural & arts activities, teaching indigenous cooking and foods, and training K-12 teachers on how to incorporate Native American Boarding Schools policy, history, and impact into their school curriculum. The historic elementary school was renovated and reopened in 2017 by Native American Connections which contracts with the City of Phoenix to operate the Phoenix Indian School Visitor Center. Gallery tours are available by appointment.
Halaand’s visit was part of “The Road to Healing,” a year-long tour across the country to provide survivors of the Federal Indian boarding school system and their descendants an opportunity to share experiences and gather input for subsequent Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative work.