I didn’t know anything about The Heard Museum when I bought a ticket, as I was just looking to pass the time over the weekend. Being a lover of museums in general, I was excited to see what offerings were to be found in downtown Phoenix.
What I found is that The Heard is dedicated towards advancing not only American Indian Art, but the history of its people.
Today I learned the sad story of the Indian Boarding School program that our government implemented last century, and the effects of this “re-education” on people to this day.
The before and after images of children’s hair being cut so that their appearance was normalized made my heart hurt profoundly. I remember an Indian Boarding School in Northern Utah that we would occasionally drive by on our way to see relatives, and I would hear the stories of smallpox being placed in blankets given to the students and faculty that were staying here. Those buildings always haunted me as a child.
I will never look at the Indian School road the same way again. The road that cuts through the Valley of the Sun has new meaning to me now. History that deserves to be preserved & remembered, not knocked down and replaced with modern day structures.