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Collecting and preserving history, promoting awareness and healing.

The Indian Industrial School at Genoa was the fourth largest non-reservation boarding school established by the United States Office of Indian Affairs. The village of Genoa, Nebraska was selected because the U.S. federal government already owned the former Pawnee Reservation property there. The facility opened on February 20, 1884 and, like other federal Indian boarding schools, its mission was to educate Native American children in order to assimilate them into American society. The students that came to the Genoa Indian School were from more than ten states and over 40 different tribal nations. In time, the school grew from the original 74 students to an enrollment of 599 in a single year, and encompassed over 30 buildings on 640 acres. The school was in operation from 1884 through 1934.

The photos above were all taken in 1910 by the U.S. Department of the Interior, as part of an effort to promote the school and its mission. Photos are shown courtesy of the Genoa Historical Museum and the Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation.


Photo of the manual labor training building.
The manual training building as it appears today. The building houses the Foundation’s Interpretive Center.

About the Foundation

The Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation is a nonprofit organization created in 1990 by a dedicated group of local volunteers. In 1999, the Foundation purchased the school’s manual training building from the city of Genoa. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation has held annual reunions in Genoa, Nebraska each year since 1990 (with the exception of this year, due to COVID-19.) Many former students attended these reunions over the years and told stories about their lives and their time at Genoa. Some recounted enjoying their time at the school, while others did not.

Mission

The mission of the Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation, a non-profit organization, is to collect and preserve the history of the Genoa U.S. Indian Industrial School and promote the heritage of the school, which was in operation from 1884 to 1934.

Our location

209 East Webster Ave.
Genoa, Nebraska 68640

We are 1 block east on Willard from Highway 22, then 1 block north to East Webster Avenue.

Directions and Map

Contact us

  • historicalgenoa@gmail.com
  • (402) 993-6036 or (402) 993-6055
  • Visit us on Facebook
  • Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 382, Genoa, NE 68640

Donate

Please consider supporting our work by making a donation.

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The Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation is also a partner in the Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project. For more information, visit genoaindianschool.org.