We have found images of several Native American schools. Some of the scools are well known, such as the Carlisle Indian School. Other schools we have found no information. There were several different kinds of Native American schools. There were schools on the reservations, some of which were boarding schools. There were the off reservation boarding schools we are discussing on this page. And there were segregated public schoolss for Indians. Most of these schools were located in southern states. There were also regular public schools in which some Native American children may have attended.
The Carlisle Indian Industrial School, initially called the Carlisle Indian Training School was a boarding school located at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. It was the best known of the Native American boarding schools established by the Federal Government. It was opened in an abandone Army post--Carlisle Barracks , Peensylvania (1879). The school was founded by Captain Richard Henry Pratt. The Carlisle School was the first off-reservation boarding school in the United States. It was designed to bring Native American children from the hunter-gathering stage into the modern world by forcibly assimilating them. Native American advocates refer to this today as cultural genocide. The School became a model for other schools working with Native American children. Many of the children were forced to attend the schools. Once at the school, their hair was cut and they were issued uniforms. The school has been criticized for taking the children from their parents and strict regime verging on brutality, based on modern standards. Using modern standards, however, is unfair. Any assessment should compare them to contemporary schools. Perhaps the most valid way of assessing the school program is to compare the life success of the graduates to comparable children who stayed on the reservations. We are not sure if such a study has ever been conducted. The children came from 140 tribes. The school had the all the attributes of boarding schools for wealthy children. It was known for its football team. Perhaps its most famous graduate was Olympic athelete Jim Thorpe. The school was closed (1918). The U.S. Army resumed control and converted Carlisle Barracks to use as a hospital to treat wounded soldiers returning from World war I service in France. The Army War College was subsequently opened there. The Carlisle complex was designated a National Historic Landmark (1961).
Here we see Coushatta children at a school in Elton, Louisiana during the 1930s (figure 1). The Coushatta were a tribe originally from Alabama. They have a reservation in Texas. I have no details about this school. I don't think it was a boarding school. Rather Louisiana had a racially segregated school system. Most of the schools were for white or black children. This apparently was a segregated school for Native American children.
Here we see the inside of a Hualapai School about 1900. We are guessing this was ca school on the reservation.
It was located near Kingman, Arizona. We are not sure if this is on or off the reservation. At the time, many Native american children were educated off their reservation in boarding schools, often in the Midwest or East at considerable distance from their homes. The uniformed boys and girls sit on benches. The classroom is very basic, but has blackboards and is decorated with maps. The children are sepatated by gender with girls on one side and boys on the other. All the children look to be barefoot, although the girls' long dresses make this very difficult to tell. The girls wear very long dresses. We do not know who decided on this. At the time girls this ahe in America wore shorter dresses. The boys all wear long pants while knee pants were the dominant style. Again we do not know who decided oin this.
The Phoenix Indian School was one of the Federal Government schools founded to serve Native American children. It was operated by the Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs. It was situated in Encanto Village located in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona. There was an 160 acres campus. The school was a boarding school for children, often taken from the reservations in contrary to the wishes of their parents. It was established as aan elementary (primary) school (1891). We think that meant hrades 1-8. In subsequwntly was changed to a high chool for secondary-age children (1935). The high school program was intended to focus on vocational education. As jobs dried up during the Depression, more attention was given to agiculture as the children tened to return to the resrvations. The Federal Government closed the school (1990). it was the only non-reservation BIA school in Arizona, but the BIA operated everal other non-reservation schools in several other cities. The purpose was to incourage assimilation by removing the children from the reservations and their parents. Eventually this and Native American education in general became a controversial issue.
This cabinet card portrait shows a group of seven Native American boys in the military-style clothing of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BOIA) Schools. This school was in Ward 104, located in Toledo Iowa. It is undated, but the mount style anc color suggests the ealy 1900s, probably about 1900-05. The studio was Clara Ensminger, Toledo, Iowa. Duren H Ward took photographs in the Meskwaki settlements located in the same area, many before 1905. They are now archived in the the Iowa State Archives contains many identified pre 1905 identified photos assembled by him during his expedition to the settlement. Toledo is located in Tama County Iowa, the home of a Meskwaki settlement. We are not sure, however, that these boys are Meskwaki. The BOIA schools we believee were boarding schools located away from tribal areas so the U.S. Government could better acculturate the children. Thus these boys may be fom other tribes, only the school was located near the Meskwaki settlement. Hopefully reades will know more about this.
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