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Test texts available online:

Reports of the Superintendent of Santa Fe Indian School, 1910-1922

Reports of the Superintendent of Santa Fe Indian School, 1923-1930

List of Students at SFIS, 1919-1929 (Note: some years missing, but may be available in documents from other series)

Reports of the Superintendent of San Juan Day School, 1922-1926

From the Superintendent's Report, check out all the sewing output that the little girls at the government school at the San Juan Reservation (of the BIA's Northern Navajo Agency) did in the 1922 school yearhttp://is.gd/SanJuanDaySchoolSewing1922

The Museum of Indian Arts and Cultural (MIAC) is currently applying for IMLS National Leadership Grant funding to support this collaborative project, the Indigenous Digital Archive.  We are building an opensource tool to allow Native American community members and others to individually and collaboratively engage with authentic public documents of community history, government actions, and civic life never before available in New Mexico. 

The project will create free online effective access for federal records that have never before available in New Mexico, documents which have an immediate and direct relation to Native individual and community histories. These records date from the 1830s-1930s and are open. The first round of the project will focus on records related to land and the federal boarding schools and day schools, 1890s-1930, documents which have a great amount of information about individual and community histories.

Software tool for creating meaningful access and building on each other’s learning experiences
These federal records, while individually understandable, are bureaucratically complex in arrangement, and inherently interwoven among different document sets. (The same report may discuss a Pueblo of the north and another of the south, or day schools at Tewa and Dine (aka Navajo) reservations.) This grant project will create an opensource software tool that will interface with pdfs of the records, and allow readers to tag parts of the documents with tags meaningful to them, whether it is the correct spelling of an ancestor’s name, or a topic they’re researching, such as “boarding school deaths” or “running away.”

The documents, while sometimes typewritten, are resistant to OCR, or automatic Optical Character Recognition by computer.

For Native peoples, these records provide information critical to understanding experiences in periods of complex and new and more involved relations with the federal government with long-lasting consequences for individuals and communities. Creating effective access locally is particularly important at this time as this is a window of opportunity where the tribes have the benefit of understanding the records with the input of those who are elders today who were young children at the time of the creation of the later records, and others who still have first-hand stories from their parents or grandparents in the 1920s-1930s and even earlier.

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