Art education at the Albuquerque Indian School, particularly drawing, existed since the establishment of that institution under the management of the Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church in 1881.
Was drawing only a good activity to have children involved with or was its instruction an actual policy of the school? After 1900 drawing seems to have lost its importance in the curriculum in favor of more systematic attention to industrial work. Native crafts were included in the curriculum of the Albuquerque Indian School as a result of the 1901 Uniform Course of Study introduced by Estelle Reel. The identity of the native woman hired and the kind of work she taught to Navajo girls is not known. A 1932 hearing before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Indian Affairs of the United States Senate might reveal something of the school’s marketing practices. When Estelle Reel retired in 1910 and the new schools supervisor took office, emphasis on Native industries strongly decreased as the 1916 course of study for Native schools demonstrates: domestic science and manual training were retained as core teachings, while weaving, pottery, basketry and other Indian crafts were not considered at all. The four residential colleges at Kennedy Town were made possible by donations totalling HKD450 million to support university developments. Shun Hing College is established by the Shun Hing Education and Charity Fund, a long-term partner of HKU for over three decades. The Chinese names of these three Colleges embody the virtues of trust and integrity, innovation and advancement, renewal and perfection – echoing the missions of the University. Lap-Chee College is named in honour of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor Professor Lap-Chee Tsui and is a gift from Dr Patrick Poon, Kerry Holdings Limited, Azalea (1972) Endowment Fund, a group of alumni and friends, as well as the late Mr Yao Ling-Sun. Home to 1,800 students from international, Mainland and local students, the Colleges are intellectually and culturally diversified learning communities, with a balanced mix of undergraduates and postgraduates. Ms Cynthia Mong and Mr David Mong were presented with a souvenir by the Master of the Shun Hing College Professor Ying Chan (2nd left), HKU President & Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Mathieson and two student representatives.


Eye-dotting ceremony by HKU President & Vice-Chancellor Peter Mathieson (right) and Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Mr Michael Lee (2nd right). Steward of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Mr Michael Lee (middle) was presented with a souvenir by HKU Council Chairman Dr Leong Che-hung (3rd left) and HKU President & Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Mathieson (3rd right) and student representatives. Morgan (1889-1893) and Superintendent of Indian schools Estelle Reel (1898-1910) introduced art instruction in the curriculum of federal boarding schools as an optimal means to reach the goals of assimilation. Great progress was made under the direction of Superintendent Bryan, who was head of the institution from 1882 to 1886. The 1900 annual report of Superintendent Collins to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs actually confirms that “most time is given over to practical and useful work. Girls could have thus spent their free time in making good objects that could have been sold. 5 or Miguel Otero’s Report of the Governor of New Mexico, 1902, TANM, Roll 149, Frame 2, p. Each Residential College has its own mission, motto and character, and its members will have life-long bonding after graduation. Morgan mandated the teaching of elementary art, while Reel called for the inclusion of American Indian crafts such as weaving, pottery, and basketry and recommended native women as instructors. The Indian school continued to take part in the annual Territorial Fair and put up exhibits of the work done by the students, but whether this work included native industries we do not know. Reuben Perry, Superintendent of the Albuquerque Indian School testified that the rugs made by the students at the time were used around the building as well as donated to the Junior Red Cross or sold. If art was originally incorporated in the curriculum of federal institutions like the Albuquerque Indian School to uplift the children, develop their minds and cultivate the eyes, from the mid-1910s, there was no place for art in schools; younger generations were needed in the labor force and thus training in the appropriate industrial skills was required.
Students have a strong sense of identity and an emphasis on contribution to society, they are committed to community engagement – since 2012, students have initiated various projects for the promotion of town-gown relations and contributed to society local and beyond.


Elementary art would teach the proper disposition of the mind and improve manual skills while native crafts, particularly for Indian girls, would impart values of self-sufficiency, manual labor, and industriousness. Bryan Family Papers, which shows that students’ advancement was evaluated also in drawing.
When the rugs were sold, the money was kept by the school, applied it as proceeds of student labor, and used for the benefit of the school. The arts could have not contributed to America’s progress and therefore were not essential in its educational institutions for Native Americans. Bryan Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 4, New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe. Bryan Family Papers, box 2, folder 4, New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe.
They have launched service projects, started eco farming in the Long Valley fresh water wetland, and built bio-sand filters in Cambodia. Art education was the instrument through which Indian children would learn a new morality, way of seeing, and the proper manner of working. While drawing had been considered significant in the development of basic skills and in the formation of character, it could not enable Native students to become self-sufficient and eventually came to be seen as marginal to their education.
Evidence that native industries continued to be made in the school after 1905 is scant as well as the evidence that students’ handicrafts were sold to outsiders.
They have also organised music and cultural festivals for the neighbourhood, started media projects led by Oscar-winining film director Ruby Yang on the documentaries for the Western District, as well as hosted basin meals for the elderly in the Colleges.



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