- U.S. governments attempts to further "civilize" the native americans by targeting the children and requiring them to go to boarding schools to be educated in the american ways
- attempted to separate them from their families (overnight school) so they would not revert back to their cultural ways.
- four sections of the book: civilization, education, response, and return home (or causatum)?
- Thesis: the U.S. government's attempts to "kill the indian and save the man," through their education system.
- Irony: americans thought they were doing god's work
- stripping of customs, language, and relationships etc.
Four major steps:
1). cultural identity - appearance, cut long hair, implemented uniforms
2). change their names - needed surname (last name), needed new names because their names were too difficult to pronounce.
3). discipline - time schedule (time was not most important in their lives previously)
4). structure - community, regimented.
- government thought they were "helping" by destroying their culture (savage to civilized)
- goal of boarding school: to assimilate and americanize the native americans
Response was Resistance:
- young new indian boys attacking teachers
- youth and parents went to great lengths to resists
A). Parents opposition
- indian parents were deeply opposed to white schooling
- parents would refuse to send children
- government would respond by withholding their rations or locking them up in guardhouse.
- took kids away from school and hid (willingly/ unwillingly)
- entire villages would refuse to send the children
- offered orphans
- choose one child or another in some cases to take to boarding school
- took the not so intelligent children
- parents withdrew children or encouraged them to runaway
- tribal elders demine school teachings during vacations
- resistance comes from forced acculturation
- when permissive acculturation was used, they fused harmoniously
- withdrew due to certain aspects of the school: punishments, manual labor, mistreatment.
- parents mostly resented boarding schools because it severed parents child bond
- schools were a breeding ground for sickness.
* ghost dance movement fueled resistance because it revived cultural practices and meaning.
B). Student Resistance
-Escape and Run
-Revival of cult identity
C). Government Response