Storyteller Dovie Thomason performs The Spirit Survives on October 12

by Contributed Content on October 9, 2020

Visiting the Menlo Park Library virtually from her home in Pennsylvania, respected storyteller Dovie Thomason performs her original 90-minute story, The Spirit Survives: The Boarding School Experience Then and Now on Monday, Oct. 12, from 4:00 to 5:30 pm. Register online.

Intended for listeners from age 12 to adult, The Spirit Survives explores a tragic chapter in our nation’s history. For decades, the First Nations of North America suffered the loss of their children to government boarding schools, where they were forcibly “re-educated” to assimilation and “civilization,” at the cost of culture and identity.

Thomason introduces her listeners to the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania and its profound and broad-reaching impact on Indian and non-Indian people since its inception in 1879 and far beyond its closing in 1918. She shades this history with personal memoir, biography of indigenous activists and culture keepers of the 19th and 20th centuries and the impact of the boarding schools on Indian people.

Her story explores the inner resources that enabled the spirit and identity of Native peoples to survive and raises provocative questions for all contemporary Americans:  Why does this matter to Americans in the 21st century? Can we learn from this? What must be done so that we can move on?

With honor, compassion and imagination, Thomason helps her audience become “comfortable with discomfort,” in a journey of respect and reconciliation.

This free event received partial funding support from the Friends of the Menlo Park Library.


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