Archive for Friday, September 18, 2009

Haskell marks its 125th year

Speaker to students: ‘You are the new breed of warriors’

Marei Spaola, a Haskell Indian Nations University senior, Oglala Lakota, center, and Temeka Circle Bear, HINU sophomore, a Cheyenne River Sioux, both from Rapid City, S.D., participate in an opening drum ceremony Thursday at Haskell Stadium. Haskell is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, and Thursday marked the exact date 125 years ago that the school was opened.

Marei Spaola, a Haskell Indian Nations University senior, Oglala Lakota, center, and Temeka Circle Bear, HINU sophomore, a Cheyenne River Sioux, both from Rapid City, S.D., participate in an opening drum ceremony Thursday at Haskell Stadium. Haskell is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, and Thursday marked the exact date 125 years ago that the school was opened.

September 18, 2009

Advertisement

A line of drummers enter Haskell Stadium to open the anniversary celebration.

A line of drummers enter Haskell Stadium to open the anniversary celebration.

Haskell celebrates 125 years

Haskell Indian Nations University celebrated and honored its 125 year anniversary. Students, faculty and alumni gathered on campus to honor the past and look ahead to the future. Enlarge video

In 1884, the Indian Industrial Training School opened its doors to 22 students as a boarding school meant to assimilate American Indians into mainstream culture.

Today, the school now known as Haskell Indian Nations University works to celebrate those same cultures.

Students, alumni and staff at Haskell took part in a healing ceremony Thursday to mark its 125th year of operation.

Songs, dances and drums marked the occasion, as attendees of the ceremony reflected back on where the institution has been and where it’s headed in the future.

Lynda Prince, a speaker at the event who traveled from Canada, brought 120 hand drums and shared her story of growing up in a boarding school, and how it made her ashamed of her culture.

She later learned to celebrate her heritage, she said, and she is now proud to wear her American Indian regalia — including a beaded dress she wore to the ceremony that weighs more than 35 pounds.

“I’m proud to be who the creator created me to be,” she said. “We should all be.”

She recognized the students at the ceremony in particular, honoring them for choosing to further their education.

“You are the new breed of warriors on the horizon,” Prince said.

Linda Sue Warner, Haskell president, said she could barely imagine what it must have been like 125 years ago on the campus.

“It’s really a commemoration and not a celebration,” Warner said of the ceremony. “It’s a testament to the resiliency of the Indian people.”

She said the school focuses on culture, though it may be difficult at times with all the different tribes that attend the school — most of which have different customs and traditions.

Still, she said, the school has come a long way from its roots.

“Instead of a place where you take the culture away, we’re really looking at a place to put the culture back in,” Warner said.

Comments

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 9 months ago

cool. congrats on the 125 year mark. :) much peace, love and power to you all.

Ralph Reed 5 years, 9 months ago

Well Done and Congratulations!

Haskell has been a part of my life since I was a child and I'm glad to see 125 years.

lounger 5 years, 9 months ago

Beautiful. Now lets take back what was ours....

doggymom 5 years, 9 months ago

"Must be a slow news day…"

Gee, didn't your mother ever teach you not to open your mouth if you didn't have anything nice to say?


"Paul R. Getto says: Very good, Haskell. You've come a long way from trying to destroy people in the name of progress to actually being helpful and trying to maintain and honor a great American heritage."


Whaaaat? What an asinine comment! Who was trying to destroy whom? I'm ashamed of the way the white man treated the Native Americans who cherished this land for years and years before we brutally pushed them onto reservations.

Haskell, congratulations for a job well done and continuing to be done. Keep educating us whites also and maybe, just maybe, prejudice will eventually be gone. We can certainly hope for that outcome.

Ralph Reed 5 years, 9 months ago

@doggymom: I think Paul was speaking of Haskell as an entity and commenting on why it was opened and how it's changed. In that respect, his comment is not asinine at all. The intent then was to "take the Indian out of the Indian." Now, it's a celebration of a multitude of cultures.

Have you ever seen the pictures of students when they first got there, and then immediately after their har was cut and they were put in uniforms? Horrible by today's standards. I've read articles in the cultural center about how students were rejected when they were allowed to go home after two years and could not even speak their language - it had been beaten out of them.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.