This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

Understanding the Phoenix Indian School and the Steele Indian School Park


Walk with me. Today we're at Steele Indian School Park, which is the former location of the Phoenix Indian School, between Central and 3rd Street on Indian School Road.

I'm interested in Phoenix history, and to my amazement I have found very little written about this school. What I have found, for the most part, are racist comments and wild assumptions about it. And this makes me sad, as this place, and the people who attended this school, and taught there, deserve so much more.

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The school closed in 1990, almost 100 years after it was first established. The building in the photo above, Memorial Hall, was built in 1922 when this school was at its highest enrollment. The Steele Indian School Park now sits on an enormous piece of land not far from downtown Phoenix.

The Memorial Hall in the 1940s.

If you think that you already know everything about the Phoenix Indian School, this is a good place to start fresh. If your cup is already full with prejudice, there's nothing that the school can say to you. Speaking for myself, I have emptied my cup, and I am ready to learn more. It's the least I can do to show my respect.

Thank you for walking with me.

Newspaper article from 1919

The Indian School football team, the Braves, in 1921.