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The Leupp Isolation Center and Japanese American Imprisonment on Diné (Navajo) Lands

  • Presented by: Davina Ruth Two Bears
  • Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow
  • School of Human Evolution and Social Change
  • Arizona State University

More about the lecture

The Old Leupp Boarding School (OLBS), a historical archaeological site on the southwest Navajo reservation, is a significant place that is important to the Diné (Navajo) communities of Leupp and Birdsprings, Arizona. The U.S. federal government established this federal Indian boarding school to educate Navajo children from 1909 to 1942. After the start of World War II however, the U.S. War Department reutilized the OLBS as a Japanese Isolation Center, the Leupp Isolation Center, in 1943. This presentation will briefly explore the Leupp Isolation Center’s history of oppression of Japanese American citizens on Indigenous lands by the U.S. government.

About the presenter

Davina Ruth Two Bears is Diné (Navajo) originally from Birdsprings, Arizona. She is currently researching and writing about the history of the Old Leupp Boarding School (1909-1942), a federal Indian boarding school that currently exists as a historical archaeological site, and its reuse as a Japanese Isolation Center in 1943 during World War II.

Free For Everyone

Our virtual lectures are a part of our Outreach and Education efforts. They are free to our Members and the General Public.  Recorded lectures are posted on YouTube and on the event page after the event occurs.

For questions about the event or how to register, please contact Susan Bowdoin ( or Sarah Webber (

This lecture series is sponsored by The Archaeological Conservancy and is made possible in part with grant support from the New Mexico Humanities Council.

*Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this (publication/program) do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Mexico Humanities Council.