Education beyond the Mesas: Hopi Students at Sherman Institute, 1902-1929

By Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert | Go to book overview

6. Learning to Preach

On June 2, 1915, nearly six hundred Indian pupils gathered in the main auditorium at Sherman Institute. Eager to see their classmates graduate at the school’s thirteenth annual baccalaureate ceremony, the pupils filed into the auditorium, quickly took their assigned seats, and waited for the service to begin. Although the students were accustomed to meeting in the auditorium for various events, the baccalaureate service held special meaning for the entire school; students and teachers alike looked forward to the service with great anticipation. In previous years, school officials at Sherman Institute had invited prominent government officials or educators to serve as the keynote speaker for the event, but on this occasion the school’s superintendent, Frank M. Conser, called on Reverend Horace Porter to address the graduates and other students in the auditorium.

A Protestant minister and pastor of the First Congregational Church in Riverside, Porter was a familiar face to several of the students, including some Hopis who regularly attended his church. After expressing his gratitude for the opportunity to speak to the students, Porter told the pupils that he hoped that they would succeed in life and not forget the following three points: “First. You are workers. Second. You are workers together. Third. You are workers together with God!”1 It was God, Porter told the students, who provided them with hands

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Education beyond the Mesas: Hopi Students at Sherman Institute, 1902-1929
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction xvii
  • 1 - Hopi Resistance 1
  • 2 - Policies and Assimilation 29
  • 3 - The Orayvi Split and Hopi Schooling 51
  • 4 - Elder in Residence 71
  • 5 - Taking Hopi Knowledge to School 95
  • 6 - Learning to Preach 115
  • 7 - Returning to Hopi 137
  • Conclusion 163
  • Appendix - A Retelling of Jus-Wa-Kep-la 171
  • Notes 175
  • Bibliography 207
  • Index 219
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