Photographic Essay

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Tribal Boarding School: Influence on Ethnic Identity

For over 100 years, the United States school system has been the story of Native Americans. No Indian has gone unaffected by the consequences of this systematic institution. Millions of Indians have been forced into federal boarding schools, struggling to stay alive in unsanitary and disease infested conditions. Living on top of one another and sleeping in military style barracks. Children were totally removed from their families and heritage for extended periods of time, often for years. This photographic essay is a pictographic story of a culture of people whose lives where forever changed by this imposed system.

Beginning in 1879, Indian boarding schools were established across America starting on the east coast with Hampton Institute in Virginia, and Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania (Giago 1). The U.S. government took on the responsibility of Indian education as part of a treaty agreement (BIA ix, Ammon 10). The treaties were made in exchange for land; the U.S. government would provide medical, educational, and essential needs to the tribes (BIA ix). Captain Richard Pratt convinced parents on the Rosebud and Pine Ridge reservations in Dakota Territory to let the United States take boys and girls to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, over 1,500 miles away (Indian Country Diaries). Pratt was convinced that only by removing children from the supposedly corrupting tribal environment and by schooling them among white people could they assimilate into American life (Coleman 46). He was convinced that Indians only needed a “broad and enlarged liberty of opportunity and training to make them, with in the short space of a few years, a perfectly acceptable part of our population” (Fear-Segal 158). Pratt was granted permission to conduct this educational experiment to prove this theory (Fear-Segal 158). Carlisle closed in 1918, but for 39 years it became home away from home for thousands of Indian boys and



References: American Indian Studies Center. (1979). Multicultural education and the american indian. United States of America: The Regents of the University of California. Ammon, S. R. (1975). In Eterovich A. S. (Ed.), History and present development of indian schools in the united states. San Francisco: Reed, Robert D. Andrews, T. G. (2002). Turning the tables on assimilation: Oglala lakotas and the pine ridge day schools, 1889-1920s. The Western Historical Quarterly, 33(4), 407-430. Archuleta, M. L., Child, B. J., & Lomawaima, K. T. (2002). Remembering our indian school days: The boarding school experience. American Anthropologist, 104(2), 642-646. Arizona State University. (1974). In Deever R. M., Abraham W., Gill G. A., Sundwall H. W. and Gianopulos P. G. (Eds.), American indian education. Tempe, Arizona: Library of Congress Publication Data. Bureau of Indian Affairs. (1988). Report on BIA education: Excellence in indian education through the effective school process Carroll, J Coleman, M. C. (2007). In Szasz M., Child B. J., Swisher K. G. and Tippeconnic III J. W. (Eds.), American indians, the irish, and government schooling: A comparative study. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press. Collins, C. C. (2000). The broken crucible of assimilation: Forest grove indian school and the origins of off-reservation boarding-school education in the west. Oregon Historical Quarterly, 101(4), 466-507. Davis, J. (2001). American indian boarding school experiences: Recent studies from native perspectives. OAH Magazine of History, 15(2), 20-22. Fear-Segal, J. (2000). Boarding school seasons: American indian families, 1900-1940. Journal of American Studies, 34(1), 160-161. Giago, T. (2006). Children left BehindThe dark legacy of indian mission boarding schools (First Edition ed.). Sante Fe, New Mexico: Clear Light Publishing. Haskell indian nation university: School history. (2008). Retrieved Feb, 2012, from http://www.haskell.edu/about.html Holm, A., & Holm, W Huff, D. J. (1997). To live heroically: Institutional racism and american indian education. Albany: State University of New York Press. Landis, B.Carlisle indian industial school history. Retrieved April, 2012, from http://home.epix.net/~landis/histry.html Lomawaima, K Low, D. (2003). Boarding school resistance narratives: Haskell runaway and ghost stories. Studies in American Indian Literatures, 15(2), 106-118. Manson, S. M., Beals, J., Dick, R. W., & Duclos, C. (1989). Risk factors for suicide among indian adolescents at a boarding school. Public Health Reports, 104(6), 609-614. Mcbeth, S. J. (1983). Ethnic identity and the boarding school experience of west-central oklahoma american indians. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. McBeth, S. J. (May 1983). Indian boarding schools and ethnic identity: An example from the southern plains tribes of oklahoma. The Plains Anthropologist, 28(100), 119-128. Privatization of federal indian schools: A legal uncertainty. (2003). Harvard Law Review, 116(5), 1455-1476. Reyhner, J. A. (2006). In Marcott L., Green C., Nardone N. and Bloom S. (Eds.), Contemporary native american issues: Education and language restoration Chelsea House Publishers. Shannon, J. P. (1956). Catholic boarding schools on the western frontier. Minnesota History, 35(3), 133-139. Smith, A. (2004). Boarding school abuses, human rights and reparations. Social Justice, 31(4), 89-102. Szasz, M. (1974). Education and the american IndianThe road to self-determination, 1928-1973. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Trennert, R. A. (1982). Educating indian girls at nonreservation boarding schools, 1878-1920. The Western Historical Quarterly, 13(3), 271-290. Vuckovic, M. 2008 Vuckovic, M

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