James Toledo on Multi-Generational Impacts from Boarding Schools and on the Need for Healing: Part 5 – Series Conclusion

Date: August 29, 2022 (Season 5, Episode 11: 38 minutes and 41 seconds long). Click here for the BuzzSprout version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click here. The above cropped photo shows a group of swimmers at the Intermountain Indian School (1950-1984), one of the country’s largest Native American boarding schools, first for specifically Navajo children and later inter-Tribal. Photo courtesy of the Classified Photo Collection, Utah State Historical Society. The episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood, Chelsey Zamir, and James Toledo, with help (sound engineering and post-production editing) from Jason Powers (Utah State Library Recording Studio).

The opinions shared in this podcast episode reflect the historical research of the guests and not the official views of the state of Utah.

Content Advisory: This SYP series is about Utah’s Native American boarding school era, which spanned from the mid-1800s to approximately 2000, when Native American children (ages 5 to 18+) were removed, then later encouraged, to leave their families and communities, in order to receive a 1-7 and later K-12 educations. This history can be emotionally challenging for any listeners but even more so for those who experienced it, either first-hand or through multi-generational effects. If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone regarding the traumatic effects related to this history, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline for Native Americans and Alaska Natives at 1-800-985-5990.

This Speak Your Piece episode is the conclusion of a five-part series about Native American boarding schools in Utah. In this episode, Brad Westwood, host of Speak Your Piece, speaks with James Toledo, program manager at the Utah Division of Indian Affairs and co-host of the five-episode series, about his thoughts, ideas, and his family’s experiences on Native American boarding schools and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ (hereafter LDS Church) Indian Student Placement Program (hereafter ISPP). In this episode, Toledo touches on how his family’s multi-generational experiences attending boarding schools and the LDS Church’s ISPP directly shaped his childhood growing up in Salt Lake City and impacted his learning and understanding of his Navajo culture. In all, this series has led Toledo to understand his family’s experiences better and has brought to light the very complex history and stories of boarding schools and the LDS Church’s ISPP; stories that are a crucial part of Utah and American history.

Part 1: Native American Boarding Schools in the Am. West & in Utah (ca. 1870s-1980s) with Dr. Farina King (Diné) – an Introduction

Part 2: American Boarding School Policies with Native American College Adviser Franci Lynne Taylor (Choctaw) (Season 5: Episode 4) 

Part 3: Matthew Garrett on “Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans, and the Indian Student Placement Program, 1947-2000” (Season 5: Episode 5)

Part 4: Diné Elders Rose Jakub (Diné) and Gayle Dawes (Diné) on Their Boarding School Experiences (Season 5, Episode 6)

Part 5: James Toledo on Multi-Generational Impacts from Boarding Schools and on the Need for Healing (Season 5, Episode 11) – Series Conclusion

Bio: James Toledo, is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and program manager for the Utah Division of Indian Affairs. Toledo is co-host of this five-part Speak Your Piece podcast series on Native American boarding schools in Utah.

Additional Resources & Readings:

Do you have a question or comment, or a proposed guest for “Speak Your Piece?” Write us at “ask a historian” – askahistorian@utah.gov