Dził yá ‘ołta’ (‘The School Inside the Mountain’): Diné Students Remembering Home at the Intermountain Indian Boarding School

During the early postwar period, the US government increased its efforts to facilitate schooling for Diné youth to abate an economic disaster, as Diné lost war-related employment and faced hardships such as the blizzard of 1947-1948. “Emergency education” school programs became part of the “solution” under the overarching federal government approach of termination, assimilationist policies, and relocation. Federal officials pushed various initiatives to matriculate more school-aged Diné, funding more on-reservation and off-reservation educational programs. Terminationists, such as Senator Arthur Watkins, established the Intermountain Boarding School (Intermountain) in Brigham City, Utah exclusively for Diné by 1950. In this context of the Termination Era, Intermountain—one of the largest federal Indian boarding schools in US history—opened to pipeline Diné youth to cities away from their homelands. Farina King examines how Diné students challenged the termination agenda of Intermountain through their creative writing, visual arts, and development of a global consciousness based on her co-authored book _Returning Home_ with Michael P. Taylor and James R. Swensen. Intermountain students explored their identities and sustained their home communities as evinced in their writings, visual arts, and lasting interpersonal relationships. Their acts of remembering perpetuated their ties and returning to home.