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The “rightness” of Native American boarding school Essay

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In the 1870s, the U.S. government enacted a policy of assimilation of Native Americans, to Americanize them. Their goal was to turn them into white men. Schools were an important part of facilitating their goal. In 1879, Richard Henry Pratt founded the Carlisle Indian School. It was the first school in which Native American children were culturally exposed to American ideology. The idea for the boarding school first came through treatment of Cheyenne warriors. In the 1860s, Americans were in the midst of a major western migration. Settlers were moving into the western region, pushing natives off lands, and in some cases, killing livestock. Warriors then took revenge on settlers and soldiers. General Sherman called for “the extermination of the natives.” Groups of warriors were captured, arrested, and charged without a trial.
Lieutenant Richard Henry Pratt was assigned responsibility of the captives. He believed that they could be reformed. In 1875, the captives were sent to Fort Marion in, Florida. Many died of disease and exhaustion; and self- imposed starvation. Their hair was cut, wore U.S. army uniforms, and their chains were removed. For the Cheyenne, cutting hair is a sign of death and mourning. Many community members viewed them as "savages," who were in need of "civilization." Pratt used deception to gain the trust of the Cheyenne. One night, he gave three men a sleeping potion so that they appeared to be dead. He carted them out in wheelbarrows. When they were revived, it may have seemed as though he had the power to raise the dead. Volunteers were recruited to teach the English. They were put to work on various projects so that they were taught the value of work. They were expected to follow Anglo-Sa...


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...f adolescence allow development the identity that will serve as a basis for their adult lives. During Erikson's stage of identity versus role confusion, adolescents' description of self expands to include personality traits and attitudes. The emergence of abstract reasoning abilities allows adolescents to think about the future and experiment with different identities. The development of abstract thought in adolescence also impels the exploration of religious and spiritual beliefs. The development of religious identity begins to come into question with further exploration. Even though the adolescent may eventually adopt beliefs that were similar to their childhood beliefs, the process of exploration is important in achieving a religious identity.



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http://home.epix.net/~landis/histry.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlisle_Indian_Industrial_School


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