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Sherman Indian High School

Coordinates: 33°55′21″N 117°26′03″W / 33.9225°N 117.4342°W / 33.9225; -117.4342
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Sherman Indian High School
Sherman Institute, c. 1920s
9010 Magnolia Avenue


United States
Coordinates33°55′21″N 117°26′03″W / 33.9225°N 117.4342°W / 33.9225; -117.4342[1]
School typeSecondary
AuthorityBureau of Indian Education
GenderMale and Female
ScheduleBlock Schedule
Color(s)Purple and Gold   
SloganHome of the Braves
AthleticsFootball, Baseball, Cross-Country, Track and Field,Basketball
Athletics conferenceCIF - Southern Section
Arrowhead League

Sherman Indian High School (SIHS) is an off-reservation boarding high school for Native Americans. Originally opened in 1892 as the Perris Indian School, in Perris, California, the school was relocated to Riverside, California, in 1903, under the name Sherman Institute.[2] When the school was accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges[3] in 1971, it became known as Sherman Indian High School.

Operated by the Bureau of Indian Education/Bureau of Indian Affairs and the United States Department of the Interior, the school serves grades 9 through 12. The school mascot is the Brave and the school colors are purple and yellow. There are seven dormitory facilities on the SIHS grounds. The male facilities are Wigwam, Ramona, and Kiva. Female facilities are Wauneka, Dawaki, and Winona. The last dorm is a transition dorm, Hogan. In addition to the seven dorms, there is also a set of 13 honor apartments named Sunset. Only four dorms are available for students to live in including Wigwam, Ramona, Wauneka and Winona.



According to the Sherman Indian Museum, SIHS was founded by the United States government in order to assimilate Native Americans into the mainstream society.

SIHS was originally known as the Perris Indian School, which was established in 1892 under the direction of Mr. M. S. Savage. This was the first off-reservation boarding school in California. The enrollment then consisted of Southern California Indian children from the Tule River Agency to San Diego County. Students ranged in age from 5 years old to early 20s. The main subjects taught were agriculture and domestic science.

Class photo of graduating seniors at the Sherman Institute, 1919.

The 80-acre (320,000 m2) site in Perris, California, was at the corner of today's Perris Boulevard and Morgan Street. Due to an inadequate water supply to conduct the primary subjects at the school, a better location was sought. By 1901 a site in the city of Riverside was selected, at the corner of Magnolia Avenue and Jackson Street. On July 19, 1901, the cornerstone was laid for the new school building of Sherman Institute. Perris Indian School remained in operation until December 1904 when the remaining students were transferred to Riverside. It was named after Congressman James S. Sherman, who helped establish funding for the school in 1900.[4]

The Mission Revival Style architecture was considered a novelty when the school was built, and the city promoted the school as one of the landmarks to visit by tourists. To meet earthquake standards, most of the original school buildings were demolished during the 1970s, and new structures were built in their place. The California Native Tribes were required to pay for the demolition and for the new buildings.[5]

During the 2008–09 school year, SIHS administration removed more than 30 staff from their facility, upsetting the students. The students protested, to no effect. Officials stated that there were not enough Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) funds to pay the employees that had been let go.[6]

Sherman Indian Museum


The Sherman Museum is currently the school's only original architecture; it was once the school's administration building. The building has been designated a National Historic Landmark and Riverside Landmark number 16.[7]

In 1995 Huell Howser Productions, in association with KCET/Los Angeles, featured Sherman Indian High School in California's Gold.[8][9]

Sherman Cemetery


Because of Bureau of Indian Affairs policies, students did not return home for several years.[10] Those who died were often buried in the school cemetery.

May 3 marks an old tradition amongst the local tribes where many local reservations decorate their cemeteries with flowers and replace old crosses. Sherman Indian High School designates this as Indian Flower Day.[11]

Demographics and feeder patterns


As of 2023 students living on Indian reservations make up about 68% of the student body.[12]

As of 1988, Sherman Indian high school was the most common boarding school chosen by the isolated village of Supai, Arizona, which has Havasupai Elementary School as its elementary school.[13] Supai does not have a high school.[14]

Annual events


Every year, in mid-April,[15] Sherman hosts a one-day pow-wow. The event officially ends Sherman's parent-teacher conference week. SIHS holds an annual Talent Show on the Thursday of that week. The Miss Sherman Pageant also occurs during this week annually, traditionally on Friday, the evening before the pow-wow.[16]

Notable faculty and alumni


See also



  1. ^ "USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)". Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Bureau of Indian Education, National Directory, March 2009, page 25" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  3. ^ "WASC: Sherman Indian High School". Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  4. ^ "shermanindianmuseum.org appraisal - turn to gold". Archived from the original on 15 November 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  5. ^ Carol Ray, History of Sherman Indian High School[usurped] at NativeVillage.org.
  6. ^ "AIRP@UCI: Sherman Indian High School copes with recent layoffs". Archived from the original on 30 April 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  7. ^ Riverside Cultural Heritage Board (January 2002). "Landmarks of the City of Riverside" (PDF). City of Riverside. Retrieved 2013-03-03.
  8. ^ The 29-minute program is available through the Chapman University Huell Howser Archive
  9. ^ OCLC 82543428
  10. ^ "shermanindianmuseum.org appraisal - turn to gold". Archived from the original on 8 December 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  11. ^ "indianeducationlausd.com". Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  12. ^ "About Us". Sherman Indian High School. Retrieved 2023-03-17.
  13. ^ Conner, Pat (1988-05-29). "The livin' is pleasurably slow in secluded Supai". The Arizona Daily Star. p. D6. - Clipping (Detail view 1 and Detail view 2) at Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ Fonseca, Felicia (2018-04-05). "Arizona tribe: Ruling could help Native students across U.S." Durango, Colorado. Associated Press. Retrieved 2023-03-21.
  15. ^ "shermanindianmuseum.org appraisal - turn to gold". Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  16. ^ "Meet the new Miss Sherman!". 21 April 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2017.

Further reading