Native American Boarding School System Analysis

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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.…show more content…
Although there were some significant differences between the two countries’ systems regarding their control, enrollment, structure and the later government apologies reflecting on them, American and Canadian boarding schools shared numerous similarities with each other concerning their aims and treatment of Native children. By examining the differences and similarities between the two systems, the thesis is going to focus how these institutions worked in order to assimilate Native children to the dominant
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