The American Association for State and Local History announced that the Heard Museum is the recipient of an Award of Excellence for its exhibition Away From Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards Program, now in its 75th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.
Developed under the leadership of Heard Museum curator Janet Cantley, Away From Home conveys the complex histories surrounding United States government efforts during the 19th and 20th centuries to educate and “assimilate” American Indian youth through the controversial practice of removing children from their families and forcibly placing them in distant boarding schools. The exhibition was developed with an advisory committee of scholars and culture bearers from Indigenous communities nationwide and presents a diversity of perspectives and personal stories that bring this challenging history to light. Founded in new scholarship, Away From Home replaces the Heard’s 2000 groundbreaking exhibition Remembering Our Indian School Days: The Boarding School Experience, curated by Margaret Archuleta. Away From Home is on view at the Heard Museum now.
In partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mid-America Arts Alliance, a traveling iteration of the exhibition is in development through the NEH on the Road program. The traveling exhibition is scheduled to visit 24 institutions nationwide, ranging from libraries to museums and historical societies.