Twentynine Palms Historical Society
29 Palms, California


"What draws us into the desert is the search for something intimate in the remote." ~Edward Abbey

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  The 2018-2019 Second Friday Lecture Series continues...
    Friday, May 10th at 7:00pm

   Civilization Through Citrus: Sherman Institute, 1901-1950
    by Amanda K. Wixon, Ph.D. student

     As the citrus industry in the United States began to flourish in the late 19th century, communities such as Riverside, California, sought to attract Euro-American settlers to the region. Promoted as a golden opportunity for wealth, health, and leisure, scores of would-be growers flocked to the area to pursue their dreams. However, the demands of the citrus groves exceeded expectations and very soon, settlers needed to find a cheap labor source. Although growers targeted many marginalized groups, the Native students of Sherman Institute of Riverside represented one of the most vulnerable groups. At Sherman, a federal off-reservation boarding school, the administration and non-Native community aimed to instill their own values and morals by assimilating the students through a program of basic academics, cultural immersion, and labor. Functioning as an employment service, school administrators provided Sherman students as labor for local settlers to exploit. In the citrus groves, these students worked in crowded, unhealthy conditions for growers who profited greatly from both the removal of Indians from their communities and the program of Indian "civilization" through labor. While student responses to this program varied, many students actively resisted and in doing so, created a space for their own cultural practices.

     Amanda K. Wixon, has been inspired to take action by pursuing a Ph.D. in Native American History at the University of California in Riverside. She also serves as the Assistant Curator at Sherman Indian Museum in Riverside and is a contributor and co-editor of the upcoming book Sharp Minds, Strong Voices: Twentieth Century Activist American Indian Women of the American West. Wixon's research interests include public history, American Indian identities, boarding school histories, as well as Native American art.

Sponsored by the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park and the Twentynine Palms Historical Society, this lecture is held at the Old Schoolhouse Museum, 6760 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, on Friday, May 10 at 7 pm. This lecture is open to the public and costs $5 per person at the door. Optional dinner with speaker at 5 pm at the 29 Palms Inn, room is limited and attendees are responsible for their own meal. If interested in dinner please RSVP to Patty at 760-367-5535 or before Wednesday, May 8.

  Click here for more information.
  Click here to download a flyer for this lecture.
  Click here to download an updated season schedule.

Door opens at 6:15 and seating is limited, so arrive early. No standees permitted.


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