Throughout history First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people have faced centuries of colonial suppression (Stout and Kipling, 2003, p. 5). One of the tools used for suppression was through the formation of residential schools. Many First Nation lives were significantly changed by the creation of residential schools, even for those who did not attend them. Residential schools were created with the intent to “force assimilation of the Aboriginal people in...
At these boarding schools, Native American children were able to leave their Indian reservations to attend schools that were often run by wealthy white males. These individuals often did not create these schools with the purest of intentions for they often believed that land occupied by Native American Tribes should be taken from them and put to use; it is this belief that brought about the purpose of the boarding schools which was to attempt to bring the Native American community into mainstream society (Bloom, 1996). These boarding schools are described to have been similar to a military institution or a private religious school. The students were to wear uniforms and obey strict rules that included not speaking one’s native tongue but rather only speaking English. Punishments for not obeying such rules often included doing laborious chores or being physically reprimanded (Bloom, 1996). Even with hars...
In 1887 the federal government launched boarding schools designed to remove young Indians from their homes and families in reservations and Richard Pratt –the leader of Carlisle Indian School –declared, “citizenize” them. Richard Pratt’s “Kill the Indian… and save the man” was a speech to a group of reformers in 1892 describing the vices of reservations and the virtues of schooling that would bring young Native Americans into the mainstream of American society.
Adjusting to another culture is a difficult concept, especially for children in their school classrooms. In Sherman Alexie’s, “Indian Education,” he discusses the different stages of a Native Americans childhood compared to his white counterparts. He is describing the schooling of a child, Victor, in an American Indian reservation, grade by grade. He uses a few different examples of satire and irony, in which could be viewed in completely different ways, expressing different feelings to the reader. Racism and bullying are both present throughout this essay between Indians and Americans. The Indian Americans have the stereotype of being unsuccessful and always being those that are left behind. Through Alexie’s negativity and humor in his essay, it is evident that he faces many issues and is very frustrated growing up as an American Indian. Growing up, Alexie faces discrimination from white people, who he portrays as evil in every way, to show that his childhood was filled with anger, fear, and sorrow.
In conjunction to the Indian Act, any child ages three to sixteen was forcibly taken from their home and implemented into the Residential School system where they stayed for ten months of the year from September to June. It was during this time that children of the system learned basic skills in English, French, and arithmetic. This education was an active attempt to separate these children from the traditions of their family or tribes. Furthermore, unlike the multicultural education of today, residents of the schools studied a majority of Eurocentric subjects such as history and music further eradicating their cultural traditions. In addition to poor education, schools such as these were often underfunded and most of the time spent there, children learned to do “honest work” meant to prep them for a life of servitude. Girls were trained early for housework such as laundry, sewing and cooking while the boys did general maintenance and agriculture. Due to the fact that these children spent the majority of their time doing chores, most of the children only completed grade 5 by the time they were legal
Miller, J. M. D. (1996). Shingwauk's vision: A history of native residential schools. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
“To kill the Indian in the child,” was the prime objective of residential schools (“About the Commission”). With the establishment of residential schools in the 1880s, attending these educational facilities used to be an option (Miller, “Residential Schools”). However, it was not until the government’s time consuming attempts of annihilating the Aboriginal Canadians that, in 1920, residential schools became the new solution to the “Indian problem.” (PMC) From 1920 to 1996, around one hundred fifty thousand Aboriginal Canadians were forcibly removed from their homes to attend residential schools (CBC News). Aboriginal children were isolated from their parents and their communities to rid them of any cultural influence (Miller, “Residential Schools”). Parents who refrained from sending their children to these educational facilities faced the consequence of being arrested (Miller, “Residential Schools”). Upon the Aboriginal children’s arrival into the residential schools, they were stripped of their culture in the government’s attempt to assimilate these children into the predominately white religion, Christianity, and to transition them into the moderating society (Miller, “Residential Schools”). With the closing of residential schools in 1996, these educational facilities left Aboriginal Canadians with lasting negative intergenerational impacts (Miller, “Residential Schools”). The Aboriginals lost their identity, are affected economically, and suffer socially from their experiences.
The cultural assimilation of the Native American peoples began when the first European settlement took root in what is now considered New England. The cultural assimilation of these native peoples continued well into the 19th century with the predominant thought by Caucasian American that native tribes had little to contribute to the emerging United States. This assimilation involved the forced placement of young Native American children in boarding schools operated by the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in order to “re-educate” or “Americanize” them in the eyes of Caucasian American citizens. The goal of the BIA was to force Native Americans to leave their heritage and cultures behind and enter into mainstream Caucasian American dominated culture. Even at the turn of the century, there were no attempts in any form to present to the Native American students with a culturally appropriate education. These schools promoted Native Americans to dress and speak like their Caucasian American counterparts. The persecution and assimilation of the Native American to adopt the English language has been recognized since the late 1960’s as a huge issue. Two of the largest tribes that have been documented the most in history as being subjected to such treatment are the Cherokee and the Navajo. These two tribes have recognized the rising issue of a dwindling supply of native language speakers. Older members of these two tribes who are fluent in the language are beginning to pass away and younger generations are losing the ability to speak their native language at an increasing rate. It is of vital importance appropriate action be taken to revitalize both the Cherokee and Navajo languages.
This book contained both primary and secondary sources, but I only used the secondary sources. This book contained information about the boarding schools and what was going on inside of them. I used facts from this book to describe life in the schools, what the schools were like, and how they helped assimilate Native Americans.
This student recognizes that there are two sides to every story, and this argument will probably remain for an extended period of time. However, after gathering all the data from multiple credible sources she does believe that the Indian boarding schools had no place among Native American nations and were destructive to them, because of abuse, the loss of their own culture and language, and forced separation from families and tribes. Many former students admit that the boarding schools effectively taught Native people to view themselves as a sub-class within white American society. What was done to the American Indian nation could be considered as one of the forms of genocide, as explained in the international human rights arena, is "forcibly removing groups of people away from their families and homes.” (Pember 27)
The 1884 amendments to the Indian Act served as a particularly important impetus for growth. On the one hand, they made boarding school attendance mandatory for Native children less than 16 years of age. On the other hand, the revised Act gave authorities the power to arrest, transport and detain children at school, while parents who refused to cooperate faced fines and imprisonment (Claes and Clifton, 1998).
The Absolute True Diary of a Part Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie, is about a high schooler trying to get away from his futureless culture. Although the book was an easy, amusing read, filled with pictures, and funny captions. Portraying the hopelessness of the Native American people, his culture, in his eyes. By analysing the text you dig past this comedic writing to see the true struggles of a kid our own age. “You’ve been fighting since you
People know about the conflict between the Indian's cultures and the settler's cultures during the westward expansion. Many people know the fierce battles and melees between the Indians and the settlers that were born from this cultural conflict. In spite of this, many people may not know about the systematic and deliberate means employed by the U.S. government to permanently rid their new land of the Indians who had lived their own lives peacefully for many years. There are many strong and chilling reasons and causes as to why the settlers started all of this perplexity in the first place. There was also a very strong and threatening impact on the Native Americans through the schooling that stained the past and futures of Native Americans not only with blood but also with emotion. It was all a slow and painful plan of the "white man" to hopefully get rid of the Indian culture, forever. The Native American schools were created in an attempt to destroy the Native American way of life, their culture, beliefs and tradi...