The new exhibit - “Remembering Our School Days: Education in the Jemez Valley” - opened Saturday (August 16, 2008) and continues through February 2009. It includes an interactive storyboard and ongoing heritage and oral history projects in collaboration with local school communities. The exhibition and related events are funded by a grant from the New Mexico Council for the Humanities, and are designated a “We the People” project by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The exhibit is located in the Museum of History and Culture, located at the Walatowa Visitor Center, 7413 State Road 4, on Jemez Pueblo.
“The Museum of History and Culture introduces our patrons to the history, culture, and experience of the
Jemez people as told in our own words and voices, while involving the visitor as participant and observer,” said Monique Sando of Jemez Pueblo. “Visitors will find themselves engaged in a journey from the time of our origins through centuries of migration, change, and adaptation into the new millennium.”
Sando said the history of institutionalized education at Jemez Pueblo is a relatively new chapter in that story of change and adaptation, characterized by new forms of cultural negotiation and sharing. The Franciscan school at Jemez, founded in 1906, became a source of tribal educational autonomy while fostering unique bonds with the surrounding village communities.
“Remembering Our School Days’ will allow New Mexicans and their visitors a rare glimpse into our recent past,” said Michael Cerletti, Secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department. “There is no better way to discover the beauty, enthusiasm and tradition of the pueblos than through the people that have inhabited those lands for generations.”
The exhibit traces the school's evolution alongside the emergence of Bureau of Indian Affairs and public education in the valley. All were characterized by pioneer educators, intent on educational innovation, from the first missionary and frontier school houses, to the first charter school on tribal land in the State of New Mexico.