My Father’s Bones

One family's fight to bring home Jim Thorpe

by Mary Kathryn Nagle and Suzan Shown Harjo

Poster of My Father's Bones

Widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all-time and multiple Olympic gold medalist and professional and collegiate football star, Thorpe’s 1953 passing and subsequent burial were bitterly contested by his tribe and Indian family who objected to his remains being sold and buried away from his community. “My Father’s Bones” examines this controversial history and traces the tribe and Thrope family’s ongoing legal and political efforts to return his remains, efforts that may bring their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. This co-production of the Native American Cultural Center and the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Collective brings both Mary Kathryn Nagle and Suzan Shown Harjo back to Yale following their respective visits in Spring 2015. Both have long-standing involvements in American Indian legal and cultural productions, having worked for decades on various monumental legal efforts, including for Harjo the drafting of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (1990) and the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (2013), the later of which is the subject of Nagle’s acclaimed production, Sliver of A Full Moon.With an entirely student cast, this innovative staged reading examines the 62-year ordeal of the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma to bring their most famous tribal member, Jim Thorpe, home for ceremonial and familial burial.

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Performance Dates & Times

September 15, 2015 - 6:30pm


Crescent Underground

Venue Accessibility: 
Venue lobby is accessible via elevators located near both the Morse and Stiles dining halls. Upper seating is accessible via main venue entrance. Facilities and stage level seating are accessible via a ramp to the left of the main venue entrance.


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