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Stories of Survival on Navajo Reservation: Old Leupp Boarding School and Japanese Isolation Center

May 20, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

$40 – $58

Dr. Davina Two Bears (Dine/Navajo) will present her work which explores the intersections of oppression and stories of survivance at the Old Leupp Boarding School, a Federal Indian Boarding School and Japanese Isolation Center. After her lecture, Dr. Two Bears will lead an interactive workshop where participants will have an opportunity to read, listen and gain deeper understanding of stories by those who survived and how we can advocate for the future generations.

Dr. Davina Two Bears’ lecture at the start of the event will be streamed live on PAFA’s YouTube channel. In-person seats for the full workshop are limited.

Scholarships are available to attend in-person. For first-round consideration, please apply by May 1, 2023.

A Journey: Indigenizing the Rising Sun is a series of three workshops with panel presentations and interactive activities co-sponsored and led by IPDPhilly.org (Indigenous Peoples’ Day Philly Inc) and partners. The series is in conversation with the artwork The Delegate, by Rising Sun artist, Rose B. Simpson, and will provide participants the opportunity to learn about the Lenape (Delaware Nation) presence, stories of survival on Navajo Reservation and of Indigenous Immigrants in Philadelphia. Through this journey of distinct stories and histories, participants will begin to envision concrete plans of action to challenge settler-colonial legacies, and to center and celebrate Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Peoples’ Day in their educational or professional practices from Lenapehoking –the ancestral land of the Lenni-Lenape.

Workshop registration includes admission to PAFA’s museum on the day of the workshop.

This event is co-sponsored by Indigenous People’s Day Philly, Inc.


Saturday, May 20, 2023


11:00 am – 1:00 pm


Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts


$58 General Public / $40 PAFA & AAMP Members (with advanced registration) / Scholarships Available

Register Now

Davina Ruth Two Bears is Diné (Navajo) originally from Birdsprings, Arizona. She is currently a visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Postdoctoral Fellow at Swarthmore College. In 2019 Davina graduated with her PhD in Anthropology from Indiana University with an emphasis in Archaeology and a PhD Minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies. Her dissertation topic derives from her grandparents’ oral history about the Old Leupp Boarding School (OLBS), an early twentieth century federal Indian Boarding School located on the southwestern Navajo Reservation. Davina recently published parts of her dissertation research in KIVA Journal (Vol. 87 2021) and in a Special Issue of the Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association (Vol. 33, Issue 1, 2022). She is currently working on a new project with archaeology colleagues about the Old Leupp Boarding School’s reuse as a Japanese Isolation Center in 1943 during World War II.

Main photo of building: Original Old Leupp Boarding School built in 1909. Photo is courtesy of the Old Trails Museum, Winslow Historical Society. Self-Portrait courtesy of Davina Two Bears.


Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
118-128 N Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102 United States
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