During the American Colonial period, the primary focus of colonists was to establish their own settlements in order to survive in the new continent. However, many of them believed that it was their responsibility to Christianize and civilize Native Americans. The educational institutions they established became the forerunners of the boarding schools which arose later in the 19th century both in the United States and in Canada (Stout 1). The aim of these schools was to resolve the so called “Indian-Problem” and to assimilate American Indians by separating Native children from their families and teaching them the American or the Canadian way of life (Trafzer, Keller and Sisquoc 14). Children in boarding schools were taught to be ashamed of and to reject their cultural heritage, ancestors and spiritual traditions (Chansonneuve 43). Moreover, boarding schools were usually underfunded, which had a negative impact on numerous aspects of school life and on the health of children (Daniels, 151). Therefore, with their harsh discipline and poor living conditions, boarding schools had damaging effects on Native people’s lives, and they contributed to many of the problems Native Americans have to face the present-day both in the U.S. and in Canada.
“....I believe in immersing the Indian in our civilization and when we get them under, holding them there until they are thoroughly soaked.”, said Richard Henry Pratt. Richard Pratt founded the United States’ first indian boarding school. Carlisle Indian Industrial School was established in the year of 1879 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Indian Boarding Schools were created to decimate traditional indian culture, and replace it with white, american culture. There were a plethora of indian boarding schools established in the United States. For instance, Concho Indian Boarding School in Concho,Oklahoma , Sante Fe Indian School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, or or Stewart Indian School in Carson City, Nevada. These schools spanned all over the United States. In these schools, Native American children, taken from their homes and families, were taught mathematics and english, as well as trivial subjects such as farming and sewing. These schools served as a way to eliminate the culture of Native Americans.
Americanization and Indian Boarding School The history of Native Americans was full of violent, cheats and sadness. From Spanish conquerors, English settlers to U. S Government, Native Americans lost their battles against these parties with greater power. As a result, their home lands, people and culture were consistently threatened by different societies.
Throughout assimilation, there was a cultural barrier between the Indians and the teachers. At the core of this barrier was the idea that one culture was more civilized than the other. This idea can be seen in both Native American boarding schools and at St. Lucy’s. As stated in Sarah E. Stone’s dissertation, the teachers at Native American boarding schools were not “culturally familiar” (57) with the students and, as a result, treated them differently. Similarly, at St. Lucy’s the nuns saw the wolf girls as barbaric people and treated them accordingly. The teachers and nuns believed that since they were the civilized culture, they must assimilate the more savage people into their way of life and help them become as stated in Karen Russell’s
During the boarding schools, the children were stripped of their indigenous culture. Their hair was cut short, and they were forced to dress “proper.” The students were forbidden to speak their native tongue (Carlisle Indian School). Students could only speak English. It did not matter if the children were from the same tribe or opposing tribe.
When it comes to determining the identity of an individual, there are a few simple things that typically influence that assumption. The way one may speak or where they’re from, the types of things they like to do or hear or eat. While grander choices and decisions play into this identity, it is truly who one chooses to be on an average day that forms this mold. Gertrude Bonnin’s memoir The School Days of an Indian Girl focuses on her changing sense of self after being placed in a boarding school. No longer was she allowed to keep all of the little things that created her identity, the simple day-to-day habits that made her who she was up to that point. The schools fundamentally changed many Native American youths and anything that would have
At her deathbed I stood weeping, as a paleface woman sat near her moistening the dry lips (Calloway, 430).” Zitkala-Sa describes the death of one her classmates at the Carlisle boarding school in 1921 while still very young (Calloway, 428). The boarding schools started a chain reaction of the Native children not learning their own language or traditions, cutting hair, and the gender roles reflecting the Anglo-Americans. These
These were schools that Native American children were sent to by Americans. The reason for doing this was that they thought that if the Native American students where sent to these schools they could essentially “fix” them. When I say fix I mean what the American people thought as turning them against their own beliefs and ways of life. Stripping these children of their culture and true self-beings.
These schools have been described as an instrument to wage intellectual, psychological, and cultural warfare to turn Native Americans into “Americans”. There are many reports of young Native Americans losing all cultural belonging. According to an interview with NPR, Bill Wright was sent to one of these schools. He lost his hair, his language, and then his Navajo name. When he was able to return home, he was unable to understand or speak to his grandmother.
To put this education system into place, the report was created to be highly influential. Davin spoke about how the day schools were not good enough and not as effective since the children would go home and forget what they had learned. Also, the children were not taught essential skills. Therefore, the best option to implement change was to place these children into Industrial Boarding Schools. The goal was to prepare Indians to be proper citizens in society, and to be trained to perform hard labour and hands on tasks.
Residential Schools was an enormous lengthening event in our history. Residential schools were to assimilate and integrate white people’s viewpoints and values to First Nations children. The schools were ran by white nuns and white priests to get rid of the “inner Indian” in the children. In residential schools, the children suffered immensely from physical, emotional, sexual and spiritual abuse. Although the many tragedies, language was a huge loss by the First Nations children. One of the worst punishments in residential schools was for speaking their own language. The use of residential schools on First Nations has led to substantial loss of the indigenous languages, therefore, causing further cultural losses to First Nations people.
Imagine being ripped apart from family members, culture, tradition, and labelled a savage that needs to be educated. Imagine constantly facing punishment at school for being one’s self. Unfortunately, these events were faced head on for many First Nations people living in Canada in the late 20th century. These First Nations people were the victims of an extensive school system set up by the government to eradicate Aboriginal culture across Canada and to assimilate them into what was considered a mainstream society.
Expectations often impose an inescapable reality. In the short story “Indian Education” by Sherman Alexie, Victor often struggles with Indian and American expectations during school. Alexie utilizes parallelism in the construction of each vignette, introducing a memoir of tension and concluding with a statement about Victor’s difficulties, to explore the conflict between cultures’ expectations and realities.
Over the past few decades, there has been many distinct perspectives and conflicts surrounding the historical context between the Indigenous peoples in Canada and the Canadian Government. In source one, the author P.J Anderson is trying to convey that the absolute goal of the Indian Residential School system in Canada has been to assimilate the Indian nation and provide them with guidance to “ forget their Indian habits”, and become educated of the “ arts of civilized life”, in order to help them integrate into society and “become one” with their “White brethren”. It is clearly evident throughout the source that the author is supportive of the Indian residential school system and strongly believes that the Indian residential School System
These negative effects were further amplified with residential schools in which they were not allowed to practice their tradition and were forcefully assimilated into the “western” ways. Boarding schools were run by the new white government and forcibly taught Haudenosaunee boys agriculture and manual trades, while Haudenosaunee girls were taught domestic skills. Since residential schools targeted younger generations, it made the Haudenosaunee’s traditional