Mid Term Paper- Native American Studies 2. Indian Boarding Schools, which began in the late 1870’s, were started to transition Native Americans from their traditional cultures and transform them into American citizens. By the 1900’s, there were 147 day schools on and off reservations in the Great Plains. Day schools were first built before the government decided that the children needed to be removed from their Indian lifestyle in order for total assimilation to occur. The first off-reservation boarding schools appeared around 1884 in the Great Plains. By 1890, 25 federal off-reservation and 43 on-reservation boarding schools were operating nationally. Many Indian families chose to send their children to boarding schools because there were no other schools available. After $45 million had been spent and 20,000 Indian children had been put into schools, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs William Jones put emphasis on the importance of utilizing existing boarding and day schools more effectively. Jones declared that the Indian children had shown little evidence of assimilation and introduced the idea for a hierarchy of schools in order to “provide the greatest opportunity for assimilating the best students with the greatest potential for surviving in the white world” (Encyclopedia of the Great Plains, par.8).
First of all, the photographs of the projects show that the government tends to break down the sense of connection of the Native Indians by civilizing their outlook. The sense of belonging of the Native Indians is very strong. In order to have good control of the Native Indians, the US government has to break down the connectivity between them. Sending them to the boarding school is a good way to diminish their sense of belonging since new knowledge and rules at the school are taught at the school. Eric Margolis also states in the article that "He believed in subjecting Native American youth to quasi-military
What if the only thing that brought generations of families together were stripped from children? Native Indians had this happen to them when they attended boarding schools in the late 1900s. The language you are born into is the glue that can keep a strong bond within your culture and
Education is an essential aspect in our ever-changing societies. It is used as a means of transmitting concepts, knowledge, and values, often to younger generations (Ravelli & Webber, 2010). Education and schooling differ in all societies, varying based on the methods of teaching of different cultural groups. For instance, Canadian Aboriginal people were taught based on the needs of their individual families and class. This greatly differed from the European system of education, which stressed adequate involvement with all of society. Though the Aboriginal manner of education was efficient and effective, the Europeans wanted to bring a change to their previous practices. As seen in the film, Education As We See It, European missionaries
In Louise Erdrich’s Famous work of poetry, “Indian Boarding School: The Runaways”, shows how the context of the work and the author play major roles in understanding the poem from different aspects and angles to see between the lines of what we really call life. The Author Louise Erdrich is known for being one of the most significant writers of the second wave of the Native American Renaissance. She is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians and her writing on Native American literature is seen throughout the world. Through word decision, repetition, and symbolism bringing out her incredibly fierce tones, the author recalls the hurt and enduring impacts of Native American children being forced to attend Indian boarding schools. These schools emerged of a post-Civil War America in an effort to educate and also “civilize” the American Indian people.
The Indian Boarding Schools In the late 1800s, Captain Richard Henry Pratt set out to “Kill the Indian in him, and save the man.”(A Plea to “Citizenize” Indians). The goal to erase Indian cultures and replace it with white American culture was sought to be achieved through boarding schools. Pratt was the creator of the first Indian boarding school: Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. These government-funded boarding schools would take children from their homes on reservation, often for them to not see their family again until they are grown(lecture). Pratt’s goal was to eliminate the Indian culture and incorporate the Indian people into the more “civilized”(Marr) American culture. This meant forcing the Indian students to speak only English and to give up all cultural traditions, religions, names and take up Christianity and American sounding names. Students were put into these boarding schools with little or no contact with their families for “eight to nine months of the year” (Marr). These schools operated with minimal funds, so the education was very insufficient. It was clear from the beginning; the actual goal was not to give quality education for the Native American children but to get rid of the Indian culture.
Our Spirits Don’t Speak English provides insight into Indian boarding schools in the United States. Children of Indian tribes were mandated by the U.S. government to attend boarding schools. The purpose of these schools were to educate Indians in Western ways and language; thus, making these children “civilized.” From a trauma lens, children of these boarding schools could be viewed as victims. Indian children were forcibly removed from their homes and stripped of their Native American identity. Upon arrival, Indian children were forced to cut their hair in the Western fashion and were only allowed to wear European-style clothing.
Since there was always a strong bond between children, parents, and other members of the tribe, the “loss of the children to school was… like a death in the family and community” (Devens 288). Because this bond was severed at a young age, children had to grow up without the love and guidance of their tribe and instead with the harsh punishments that teachers gave out when the children did not follow instructions. Not only were children torn apart from their tribal community, but when they graduated from their respective boarding schools and returned home, there was a language barrier between their tribe and themselves, leaving children unable to communicate with their families. Since boarding schools were taught in English, there would be punishment if any teacher found a student speaking their native language. There was an emphasis of not speaking their native language at school and instead learning English, American Indian children pushed their native language to the back of their mind and eventually they were unable to speak it at all. These dramatic effects of boarding schools impacted the American Indian community greatly, much more than the land allotments, as family and tribe values and the education of their children were more important to them than the land allotments. American Indian children
Boarding schools were an issue that plagued both Native Americans and Inupiats. As conveyed by the writings of Mary Crow Dog and other Native American figures, we see how the effects of such schools were devastating to the native population. Boarding schools wiped Natives of their language and culture, teaching young children to be ashamed of what makes them unique. Pupils would return from their long stays at boarding schools, unable to speak to their own family, resulting in an isolation between themselves and their community. Over the years, generations would eventually lose most of what makes them native and, for the most part, their culture slowly faded away. It seems that the Inupiat people faced a similar fate. Inupiat children were forced to learn by Western standards, eventually forgetting their crucial survival skills, language, religion and other unique aspects of their culture. However, we are exposed to a more positive outlook towards boarding schools in the book, Fifty Miles from Tomorrow, where William Hensley says he enjoyed his boarding school
Each boarding school had a set of tight rules designed to assimilate the children in such a way that they forgot or rejected their native culture. The children were forced to leave behind their original religion and properly observe the Sabbath every Sunday (“Rules” 53). They were strictly forbidden in speaking in their native dialect and were not allowed to keep their native dress but had to adopt a uniform style of clothing (Stone). Also the children were taught to enjoy the games of the young white children rather than being able to play the games of their childhood (“Rules” 54). These policies assimilated the children of the First Nations by giving them a new Americanized way of thought based on a Christian Anglo-Saxon view of the world and bestowing upon them an Americanized outward appearance by teaching them to play, act, and dress like white American children.
The Native American Indian Boarding School was an institution designed by missionaries to "assimilate" the Native American children to adopt American culture. Assimilation was intended to strip young children of everything they knew of their own culture and replace it with what the white man saw fit ultimately because they
Indian Boarding schools were the best way to convert people and their beliefs that potentially disrupted the way of the manifest destiny. These schools would take young Indian children and assimilate them to the Anglo American way of life. The highest priority of these Indian schools were to teach the
The main goal of boarding schools was to civilize Native Americans. The federal government wanted to solve “The Indian Problem” by assimilating Native Americans into white culture and felt that education
Schools would quickly be able to assimilate Indian youth. The first priority of the boarding schools would be to provide the rudiments of academic education: reading, writing and speaking of the English language. By the 1880s, the U.S. operated sixty schools for 6,200 Indian students. The boarding schools hoped to produce students that were economically self-sufficient by teaching work skills and instilling values and beliefs of possessive individualism, meaning you care about yourself and what you as a person own. This opposed the basic Indian belief of communal ownership, which held that the land was for all people.
Boarding schools are scary enough for children who speak the same language. Imagine a village, soldiers come in and take the children, age five and older, away in a wagon. The children arrive at a school far away from home, family, and culture. Separated according to age and sex, stripped of their clothes, bathed, and forced to stand still as they get their hair cut, many are crying, terrified of what is happening. They receive uniforms, and new Christian names, thus stripping them of their identities. Unfortunately, this is how most Indian children received an introduction to boarding school. The plan was to use education to assimilate the children into the Christian culture.