SANTA FE, N.M. — Events in New Mexico recently served as opportunities for Time magazine and The New Yorker to provide some historical perspective.
Time used first lady Michelle Obama’s commencement speech at Santa Fe Indian School on May 26 to remind readers about the disturbing past of Indian education. The article, published the day of the first lady’s visit, was headlined “The Sad History Behind Michelle Obama’s Commencement Speech in Santa Fe” and, in smaller print, “The Santa Fe Indian School has a sad and disturbing past.”
“When Michelle Obama speaks on Thursday at the Santa Fe Indian School as this year’s commencement speaker, the First Lady will surely speak of the usual hopeful graduation-day themes, and about the White House Generation Indigenous Initiative that brought her there. Optimism about the future will have an extra layer of meaning in that particular location, as the school is part of a long and ignominious story from American history.”