American Indian Children at School, 1850-1930 - download pdf or read online

By Michael C. Coleman

From greater than 100 autobiographical bills written through American Indians recalling their education in executive and missionary associations this booklet recovers a viewpoint that was once nearly misplaced.

In a approach of pedagogy that used to be alien to their tradition those and thousands of others have been wrested as children from their tribal existence and regimented to turn into americans. within the technique of enlightening them to western codes and values, their stories of ethnic lifestyles have been deliberately obscured for what used to be to believed to be the higher strong of the kingdom.

Drawing upon those local American recollections unearths how younger Indians answered to a procedure that tried to eliminate the tribal codes that had nourished them. The Christian curriculum, the military-style self-discipline, the white employees of academics and directors, and the work-for-study calls for have been alien and bewildering to them, specifically in the course of their first days on the associations.

The former scholars keep in mind myriad different types of adaptability, resistance, motivation, and rejection, in addition to the numerous difficulties readjusting to altering tribal lifestyles upon their go back from college. the following the historical past of the eighty-year epoch of such institutionalized education is positioned in cautious concentration. Recounting this event from the pupil’s eyeview and evaluating it with modern assets through white authors make this booklet a testomony to the severe price of long term autobiographical reminiscence within the writing of history.

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Many historians today are convinced of the importance of such brokers, but the role played by tribal children while still at school has not been given due prominence. Considering the tens of thousands of Indian boys and girls who attended American schools and the burdensome hopes often placed upon them, both by their own peoples and by their teachers, their role in this confrontation of cultures needs more intensive analysis. I do not claim that this group of one hundred autobiographers is representative of all Indian school pupils during these eight decades.

Clinton has recently argued against simplistic use of racial "blood" as the basic criterion for ethnic identity. 20 If La Flesche lived his early life as an Omaha and continued to identify with that tribe, and if some of its members and later historians accepted him as an Omaha, then he was an Omaha, no matter how mixed his "blood" or how "acculturated" he became to white society; the same broad standard applies to other autobiographers. In securing a valid sample of ethnically diverse narrators, the major task has been to locate autobiographies in which the subjects describe or show a discernible influence of schooling.

A small number of these narrators attended schools with white children, and the present work will touch on these experiences. But, as emphasized in the Preface, this is a study of Indian pupil responses to schools established specifically to Christianize and "civilize" them. Only a few narrators attended institutions of higher educationCharles Eastman, for example, graduated from Boston University as a medical doctor24therefore this study focuses on the childhood and teenage experiences of the narrators.

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American Indian Children at School, 1850-1930 by Michael C. Coleman


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