Eve Dewan

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Brown U.

Grant number

Gr. 9528

Approve Date

October 11, 2017

Project Title

Dewan, Eve H., Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'Frontier Lessons: An Archaeology of Living and Learning in the Grand Ronde Tribal Community,' supervised by Dr. Robert Preucel

In the 1850s, twenty-seven Native American tribes and bands living in the Pacific Northwest were removed to a reservation in Oregon and became known as the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Many Indigenous children in this area were sent to Chemawa, a nearby boarding school, to be educated. However, most of the boys and girls at Grand Ronde went to school on the reservation, first to a residential institution run by the Catholic Church, then to a Tribally-administered day school. Like the federally-run boarding schools, these schools were colonialist institutions that sought to transform their pupils into ideal American citizens through a variety of disciplinary tactics. My project investigates the material realities of students’ lives at Grand Ronde. It answers questions about the schools’ relationship to the wider frontier context in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It also explores the ways in which people used the various spaces within and around the schools. My previous Master’s research at federally-run Indian boarding schools in Michigan and Arizona has revealed that students were often savvy and developed ways of avoiding and countering administrative surveillance; a key aim of this project will be to determine if the same manipulation of spatial control happened at Grand Ronde. The research methods of this collaborative project will include archival and oral historical research, pedestrian and geophysical survey, and excavation in order to collect historical, spatial, and material data. Analysis and interpretation of these multi-stranded findings will contribute to broader debates about colonialism and culture change, building on anthropological and interdisciplinary scholarship of institutions, frontiers, surveillance, and resistance.