Davina Ruth Two Bears

Grant Type

Engaged Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Swarthmore College

Grant number

Gr. ERG-53

Approve Date

February 5, 2024

Project Title

Two Bears, Davina (Swarthmore College) "Old Leupp Indian Boarding School and Nikkei Isolation Center Community-Accountable Archaeological Partnership"

Our coalition of Diné (Navajo) and Nikkei (Japanese American ) scholars – from the descendant community and affiliated universities – is negotiating community-accountable research design with care, following the priorities and interests of descendant communities near the carceral site of Old Leupp on the Navajo reservation in northern Arizona. This former United States federal Indian boarding school and Citizen Isolation Center has long echoes in the community histories it has deeply impacted. This impact includes the continued existence of this historic archaeological site both physically and within the oral history of the Diné and Nikkei , who were imprisoned at Leupp. To co-create a community-driven intergenerational and living site project, centered on the history and archaeology of the Old Leupp site, we have mentorship and guidance of the communities connected to Leupp. Our partnered goals foreground capacity building and community directed research that includes shared approaches to: curriculum development, site-linked multimedia augmented reality tours, archival research, oral history, modeling, and non-invasive archaeological mapping and geophysical methods. Partnering with communities, we will foreground their priorities around this site and its intersections of Nikkei and Diné history within traumas and contemporary renegotiations of its use and meanings to living people.