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Native American Boarding Schools

  • Broadcast in History
Whisper nThunder

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Hosts Brenda Golden and Joelle Clark

The 1869 “Peace Policy,” known as the Indian Boarding School Policy, funded boarding schools focused on assimilating and “civilizing” American Indian children—the intent, said Richard Pratt, the founder of the notorious Carlisle school, was to “Kill the Indian, save the man.”  More than 100,000 children were forcibly removed from their families and distributed among the 460 Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) operated schools by 1960. Boarding schools were the ideal instrument for absorbing people and ideologies that stood in the way of manifest destiny. Schools would quickly be able to assimilate Indian youth. The first priority of the boarding schools would be to provide the rudiments of academic education: reading, writing and speaking of the English language.  Indian youth would be individualized. Religious training in Christianity would be taught. The principles of democratic society, institutions and the political structure would give the students citizenship training. The end goal was to eradicate all vestiges of Indian culture.

 

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