Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories


January 29, 2021 to March 16, 2021


Irving Archives and Museum View map
801 W. Irving Blvd.,
Irving, TX, 75061

Additional Information


Beginning in the 1870s, the US government attempted to educate and assimilate American Indians into “civilized” society by placing children—of all ages, from thousands of homes and hundreds of diverse tribes—in distant, residential boarding schools. Many were forcibly taken from their families and communities and stripped of all signs of “Indianness,” even forbidden to speak their own language amongst themselves.

Up until the 1930s, students were trained for domestic work and trade in a highly regimented environment. Many children went years without familial contact, and these events had a lasting, generational impact. Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories explores off-reservation boarding schools in a kaleidoscope of voices. Away from Home opens January 28, 2021, at Irving Archives and Museum.

Please note: Away from Home contains stories of resilience and revitalization, agency and honor. Please be aware that it also contains descriptions of human indignities and hardships and terms that reflect historically racist perspectives and language from past eras. In speaking the truth about acts of seemingly unfathomable violence and suffering in the lives of Native peoples, this exhibition is advised for more mature audience members, grades eight to adult.

Virtual talk with expert Dr. Aaron Hyams:
Join Irving Archives & Museum on Wednesday, March 3 at 3pm for a virtual talk led by Dr. Aaron Hyams on the themes explored in IAM's current traveling exhibition: Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories. This talk, followed by a question and answer session, will focus on exploring and explaining the strains of ideology and politics that drove the expansion and management of the Indian Boarding School System.