'Native Vision’ program offered Nov. 1 to students, public at Enumclaw High

The Enumclaw School District’s Native American Program is bringing a Living Voices program to town and is inviting the public to share in the experience.

The “Native Vision” production will be free, beginning at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 in the Enumclaw High School auditorium.

“Native Vision” focuses on the story of Alice Benally, a young Navajo girl who is taken from her home and placed in a government-run boarding school during the 1930s, as part of a government effort to “civilize” Native American children into mainstream society.

Healing traditions were passed down to Benally through her family and, at boarding school, she is encouraged to pursue a career as a nurse. In that career, she strives to find a balance between Western medicine and the Navajo traditions of healing.

The program also involves her cousin Carl, who becomes one of the famed Navajo Code Talkers, an integral part of the World War II effort.

Through Benally’s experiences of fighting to retain her culture and traditions within unfamiliar and sometimes hostile environments, the audience also hears stories of her family, ancestors and tribe.

Living Voices presentations combine live performers with archival film footage.

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