The Heard Museum, along with partners Native American Connections (NAC) and the Phoenix Indian Center (PIC), will host a reunion for the alumni of Phoenix Indian School on Saturday, Oct. 8.
This event will coincide with two major events, the annual Native American Recognition Days (NARD) Parade and planning for improvements of the Heard Museumâ€™s Remembering Our Indian School Days: The Boarding School Experience exhibit, which has been on view since 2000.
Phoenix Indian School alumni are invited to march in the NARD/NAC Parade which starts at 9 a.m. at Third and Oak streets, and heads north, ending in Steele Indian School Park. The reunion, which is an RSVP-only event, will begin at 10 a.m. inside Memorial Hall at Steele Indian School Park at Third and Indian School Road, then move to the Heard Museum for lunch and an afternoon program for the alumni.
Alumni are invited to bring one guest. RSVPs are required to PILegacyProject@nativeconnections.org.
This year marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of the school. When it was created in 1891 it was called â€śThe Phoenix Indian Industrial School.â€ť Many generations of Indian families attended Phoenix Indian in its 99-year history. The school closed in 1990 and much of the land became Steele Indian School Park. Only three buildings remain from the old school and the city of Phoenix has renovated one, Memorial Hall.
The partners NAC and PIC are overseeing the restoration of the former music building and construction is under way.
â€śWe canâ€™t wait for this building to be restored and once again be open to welcome the alumni of Phoenix Indian,â€ť says Diana Yazzie Devine, CEO of Native American Connections.
The music building will become a Native American Cultural and Business Center. Itâ€™s set to open in the spring of 2017.