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Embedded Racism in the Law: Indigenous Boarding Schools and Their Legacy in Indigenous Families and Communities

21 Apr 2022

Embedded Racism in the Law: Indigenous Boarding Schools and Their Legacy in Indigenous Families and Communities

6:00pm - 7:30pm

Join us for our next panel in our Embedded Racism in the Law Series for 2022, Thursday, April 21, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.. Our panelists will discuss the legacy of federal boarding school policies, focusing on the Intermountain Indian School in Utah, which was the largest federal Indian boarding school between 1950 and 1984. The indigenous alumni of this school produced various works of art depicting their experiences, which give context to some of the broader themes of the boarding school era. Dine student art and poetry from the Intermountain Indian School reveal how boarding school students sustained and contributed to their cultures and communities despite assimilationist agendas and policies.

Watch Live! on April 21, 2022, the Embedded Racism Panel at VLS.


Photograph of Professor Hillary HoffmanProfessor Hillary Hoffmann, Vermont Law School

Professor Hoffmann's areas of expertise include environmental law, federal Indian law, and natural resources law. Her scholarship analyzes the systems governing natural resource uses on federal and tribal lands and explores the conflicts that arise from Constitutional and other legal challenges facing indigenous nations and indigenous peoples in the United States. She has also lectured and published extensively on the topics of energy development, mining, livestock grazing, and other extractive uses of public lands and tribal lands. Her recent book, law review articles, and amicus briefs have focused on some of the most high profile controversies at the intersection of environmental law and federal Indian law, including the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Bears Ears National Monument, and energy mineral withdrawals on public lands and submerged lands.

Farina King PhD

Farina King, PhD, a citizen of the Navajo Nation, is associate professor of history and affiliated faculty of Cherokee and Indigenous Studies at Northeastern State University (NSU) in Tahlequah, homelands of the Cherokee Nation and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees. She is also the director and founder of the NSU Center for Indigenous Community Engagement. She received her PhD at Arizona State University in History, an MA in African History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a BA in History and French Studies from Brigham Young University. King specializes in twentieth-century Native American Studies, especially American Indian boarding school histories. She is the author of “The Earth Memory Compass: Diné Landscapes and Education in the Twentieth Century”, and co-author with Michael P. Taylor and James R. Swensen of “Returning Home: Diné Creative Works from the Intermountain Indian School” (November 2021). She is currently working on a project about Diné healers over generations to contextualize the lived experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic in Navajo country. Learn more at

Photograph of Michael P. TaylorMichael P. Taylor

Michael P. Taylor is assistant professor of English and associate director of American Indian Studies at Brigham Young University. He is the current Butler Young Scholar with the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies. His scholarship on Indigenous activism, poetry, and boarding schools has appeared in such journals as American Quarterly, Native American and Indigenous Studies, and Modernism/Modernity. He is the coauthor of "Returning Home: Diné Creative Works from the Intermountain Indian School" published with University of Arizona Press. His research engages Indigenous archives to expand the literary histories and ongoing resurgent acts of Indigenous communities.

Photograph of Dr. James R. SwensenDr. James R. Swensen

Dr. James R. Swensen is an associate professor of art history and the history of photography at Brigham Young University. His research interests include documentary photography, American photography, and the visual representation of the American West. He is the author of several articles and two monographs: "Picturing Migrants: The Grapes of Wrath and New Deal Documentary Photography and In a Rugged Land: Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, and the Three Mormon Towns Collaboration, 1953-1954". He co-authored "Returning Home: Diné Creative Works from the Intermountain Indian School", published by the University of Arizona Press in 2021.


Questions? Concerns? Contact Theresa Johnson at