2017-2019 Eastman Fellow: Davina Two Bears

My name is Davina Two Bears and, I am Diné, Navajo, originally from Birdsprings, Arizona. My maternal clan is Tódích’íi’nii, Bitter Water, born for Táchii’nii, Red Running into the Water Clan; and my maternal grandfather’s clan is Tábąąhí, Edge Water, and my paternal grandfather’s clan is also Tódích’íi’nii. I am a PhD Candidate at Indiana University under the Department of Anthropology’s Archaeology of the Social Context PhD Program with a PhD Minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies. My PhD dissertation topic derives from my grandparents’ oral history about the Old Leupp Boarding School (OLBS) on the southwestern Navajo Reservation. Using non-destructive indigenous research methods, including interviews with Navajo elders and archival records and historic photographs, my decolonizing research investigates the early history of the Old Leupp Boarding School (1909-1942), which has never been thoroughly documented in the literature. I focus on the educational experience of Navajo children at the OLBS, and how they resisted and survived early 20th century federal Indian Boarding School assimilationist policies. I am an Alumni of Dartmouth, where I majored in anthropology, and I received my master’s degree in socio-cultural anthropology from Northern Arizona University.