Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert (Hopi) will present “Marathoner Louis Tewanima and the Continuity of Hopi Running” at the Heard Museum February 22, 2020 from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Monte Vista Room. Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert is Professor and Head of the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona. He is an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe from the village of Upper Munqapi. Centering his research and teaching on Native American history and the history of the American West, he examines the history of American Indian education, the Indian boarding school experience, and American Indians and sport.

In January 1907, Louis Tewanima, from the Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona, enrolled at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. While at Carlisle, Tewanima joined the school’s cross-country team. He won numerous races and earned the opportunity to compete in the 1908 and 1912Summer Olympic Games. Tewanima’s story represents his ability to redefine Hopi running in the twentieth century and shows how he maneuvered within American and European perceptions of Natives and sports. His participation in running events recalls a time when white Americans situated indigenous people at Indian boarding schools on the fringes of U.S. society but embraced them when they brought honors to the country by representing the nation in athletic competitions at home and abroad. Furthermore, Tewanima’s involvement in marathons and Olympic races demonstrates the ways Americans used his success to further the ideals of U.S. nationalism, as he simultaneously continued the long tradition of running among his people.

Matthew Sakiestewa

Event Details
Saturday, February 22
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Cost: Free

Monte Vista Room

thin banner of photographs of the inside of the Boarding School exhibition