The 27th Genoa US Indian School Reunion/Celebration is Saturday August 13th in Genoa, Nebraska. The story of the Genoa U.S. Indian School is featured in the award-winning documentary "Lost Nation: The Ioway 2" by Fourth Wall Films.
The celebration will feature a research center, Native American arts and crafts, speakers and music, tours and Indian Tacos. This free and educational event is open to all and is sponsored by Humanities of Nebraska and the Genoa US Indian School Foundation. Everyone is welcome so come learn about a part of our national history that happened in Nebraska. For information call: 402-993-6036, 402-993-6636 or 402-993-6055 or visit and like us on facebook.
Saturday August 13th is the Genoa U.S. Indian School Celebration. Native American paintings, jewelry and crafts will be available for purchase from 9 – 4. Tables are free and only available to Native Americans. The research center is open from 9 – 4 with volunteers available to help you do research. The Interpretive Center will be open from 9 am to 4 pm.
9:00 – 9:30 – films on the Genoa school and past reunions.
9:30- Randy Reinholtz (Choctaw) & Jean Bruce Scott talk about their play Off the Rails featuring the Genoa Federal Boarding School at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
10:15- Memorial program and Wolfe Scholarship presentation.
10:30- Tour of the barn
11:00 – 1:00 –Native American Tacos made by the Jan, Shane & Sharon Ellston- whose ancestors attended the Genoa Indian school in the 1880’s.
1:00- 5:00 – Downtown museum is open.
1:30 – 2:30- Dan Lybarger- (Ojibwe, Cherokee & German) Presenting Native American flute music and storytelling, speaking about a language preservation project with the Red Lake Band Ojibwe and assisting in research on the path of the Potawatomi 1835, 1836, and 1837 removals across Central IL. Dan has been present at several past reunions sharing his beautiful flute music.
2:30 – 4:00- Gary Small (Northern Cheyenne) presenting on his father’s time at the Genoa school and its impact on his life. Gary will play a few songs to honor his father along with a band member Jobe Jennings, who also had family attend the Genoa School. Gary has won several Native American Music awards. Following Gary’s presentation, all Native American’s will be introduced and then join Gary and Jobe in a panel about the memories they know about the school.
The day will wrap up with an ice cream social at 4:30. All events are at the St. Rose of Lima Community Center next door to the Genoa Indian School Interpretive Center.
We are excited to announce that Sidney Byrd, a former Genoa Indian School Student, is planning on attending the reunion- celebration on August 13th. His son Sam is accompanying him. Many descendants are planning on attending. This is a time learning and healing.
A great Family Reunion Idea. Plan a family reunion during the Genoa U.S. Indian School Celebration on August 13th as a fun part of it. In the past, a large family reunion was held in conjunction with the celebration. The family was able to have several tables set up for their group and found lots of information on their Native American ancestors. There were various activities all day long and they were able to choose the activities that interested them the most. Everything is free (taco’s included if you are Native American) otherwise there is a charge for the taco’s. There is a public swimming pool in the park for those who wish to swim but there is a charge for that. There is a motel in Genoa and one in Fullerton and cabins and RV parking at Broken Arrow Wilderness Camp (by Fullerton) to make it a weekend trip. We would love to have you come join us, just let us know so we can reserve some tables for you. Visit us and like us on facebook or email to HistoricalGenoa@gmail.com
The Genoa U.S. Indian School Interpretive Center was a federal boarding school for Native American children in operation from 1884 to 1934. This National Register site is a site of conscience as the school was a location of past struggle and incomprehensible emotional experiences for many of the Native American children who attended. Their experiences, which they were often not able to express or understand, have manifested down through generations and have resulted in broken homes, alcoholism and lost cultures.
The Genoa U.S. Indian School Interpretive Center is working to make this a place of healing and addressing the wrongs of the past. Former students have returned, and when they found this a welcoming place, became comfortable enough to share their experiences and have these recorded for the present and future visitors. Their descendants visit the Interpretive Center to learn about their ancestors and understand how this place impacted their families' lives.
The Interpretive Center connects the past to the present and the memory of the past to action in the present. Visitors gain historical perspective on the past actions and how these issues need addressed. They also learn about the human experience of living there and how the school fit into the larger system of education that the government had set up for the Native American students and their assimilation into society.
The Interpretive Center is bridging the history of the school to the present with dialogue on social issues in Native American cultures and opportunities for public involvement.