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1950s: Entry into Intermountain

Students arriving at school in August, 1953.
Students arriving at school in August, 1953.

On January 11, 1950, 212 students arrived at the Intermountain Indian School from Fort Defiance and Chinle, on the Navajo Reservation. Approximately 300 more would arrive in the following days from other parts of the reservation. They came on six chartered Greyhound busses.

To be eligible to attend Intermountain, students had to be:
   • ¼ or more Indian Blood
   • on Navajo Tribal Census rolls
   • 3 or more years behind scholastically
   • 12 years old or older
   • from an area without facilities.

Each classroom had a teacher and an interpreter (if the teacher didn't speak Navajo), and each dorm had an attendant who spoke Navajo. Boys arrived dressed in jeans and woolen shirts, while girls wore dresses similar to what Brigham City girls wore.

“Practically the only English words the majority of the youngsters could speak were their names and the name of the locality in which they lived.”
- Box Elder News Journal, January 13, 1950

1950s: Entry into Intermountain