Season 1, Episode 15: “Jones Academy, Choctaw Nation Boarding School: Patrick Moore, (Pawnee) Discusses the Other Side of the Story”

In this episode of Native ChocTalk, my sister and I traveled to beautiful eastern Oklahoma to visit a friend of mine, Patrick Moore, Superintendent of the Choctaw Nation’s boarding school, Jones Academy in Hartshorne, Oklahoma.

Jones Academy is located at the base of the beautiful Pocahontas Mountains, surrounded by rolling hills and trees as far as the eye can see – a perfect place for this boarding school. This establishment serves Native American students from around the country who wish to continue learning about their culture, language and traditions while being surrounded by Native peers and the pleasing hills of eastern Oklahoma.

I wanted to introduce you listeners to Patrick so he can shed light on the fact that there are some excellent Native boarding schools in existence today. Considering the horrid treatment and cultural genocide of thousands of American Indian children over the years finally coming to light and flooding the news, I think it’s also important that we educate ourselves on the other side of the story too.

Although we mourn the atrocities that occurred and we certainly will never forget the injustices, I hope we will also recognize that boarding schools like Jones Academy are a far cry from the schools of yesteryear and are crucial establishments and an incredible experience for our Native children. It’s a place they can go to be surrounded by kids from 20 different tribes, and to continue their education around their own culture. There is much more to this other side of the story, so I hope you’ll take a listen!

In addition, you may recall episode 7, season 1, “Francine Locke Bray, Choctaw Ponies - the Unsung Heroes of the Trail of Tears” in which we talk about the history of the Choctaw ponies. After my sister and I interviewed Ms. Francine, we drove on over to Hartshorne to hear more from Patrick about Jones Academy and to see the Choctaw ponies in person! Listen to that episode here:

Patrick specifically wanted me to invite you, our listeners to support the school and to visit Jones Academy any time – he’ll roll out the red carpet for ya’ and show you around. So come to Hartshorne, Oklahoma, check out that Native southern hospitality and truly get to know about the few remaining boarding schools that exist today to serve our Native children.