Education and Native AmericansPresentation Transcript
THE BOARDING SCHOOL MOVEMENT AND THE MERIAM REPORT ED 310: Group 4 Kate, Ashton, Jill, Nicole, Josh, Justin
Native American Boarding Schools
Tom Torlino, a Carlisle School student, before and after spending time at the school.
This Movement started November 1, 1878 by Captain Richard H. Pratt. Pratt’s goal was to “kill the Indian, not the man”.
American Indians were taken from their homes and forced into a school and were called “Savages”, and were given zero respect.
Their ideas were to either kill all Indians, or push them into the white civilization.
Attendance was mandatory, and all boarding schools became part of the official U.S. Government Indian policy.
The punishment was harsh if they disobeyed, so they followed the rules. Students had no privacy, couldn’t speak their native tongue.
Were established not for the education, but the new forced culture.
As from our video, you can see the experience it was for these students. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2u3VOZ4n4aM Power point is of a first hand American Indian forced into a boarding school.
In 1926, Lewis Meriam was appointed head of the Institute for Government Research to study the effects of the Indian Boarding School Movement on Native Americans.
The study was first called “The Problem of Indian Administration” for obvious reasons, but later the name was switched to the Meriam Report.
5 Key Areas Discussed in the Meriam Report
1. Health -Because the Native Americans’ health facilities were unsanitary and not well staffed, Native Americans’ saw higher infant mortalities as well as death rates. Two main diseases that struck Native Americans during this time were tuberculosis and trachoma.
2. Living Conditions -The living conditions on the reservations were reported to be below acceptable. This was related back to health.
3. Economic Conditions - Native Americans were considerably poor and were just “getting by” by living off of the land. This again was linked back to health because the majority of the Native American population was undernourished.
4. Suffering and Discontent -Meriam and his survey staff foud that a major part of the Native Americans were uneasy about their living conditions and social status. Many of these people were living in depression from being stripped of their true lives.
5. The Causes of Poverty -The Meriam report criticized the government’s policies (such as the Dawe’s Act) that were implemented toward Native Americans stating that the policies would “pauperize any race.” The Meriam Report criticized organizations, such as the Indian Office (Bureau of Indian Affairs)
The report showed facts and data that made it obvious to the government that the boarding schools were not fit to teach Native American students. They also noted that teachers were impartial to Native American students.
The report believed that the schools should be encouraging Native American students to further their education in college.
Government should help fund education.
Reported that students would learn better if they could remain with families instead of being shipped off to boarding schools.
The idea came from the minds of European settlers that had the Manifest Destiny mindset.
“ Kill the Indian, save the man”- could be done with off reservation boarding schools.
White man felt it was necessary the Natives learned and adapted to their (white peoples) lifestyle.
Boarding schools made them civilized and productive Americans.
Absolute assimilation was the goal.
Only English was allowed to be spoken.
American Indians needed to be “Christianized” so separation of church and state did not exist.
The image above shows and American Indian Boarding School
Began in post Civil War era
Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania was founded in 1897 and was the first effort to accomplish the goal of giving Indians the proper education.
Purpose was to “civilize” the Native Americans.
Reservation boarding & day schools were established to educate more Indian children at lower cost.
Reservation schools: closer to reservations and children remained in school for 8-9 months out of the year.
Day schools: provided minimal education and worked with the reservation schools by transferring students for more advanced students.
The image above is of the Carlisle Indian School
Daily schedule at a Boarding School
Early wake up call- followed by series of tasks
Regular inspections and drills were done outside
Farming techniques were taught
½ day in classroom, ½ day on school grounds work assignment
Curriculum: U.S. History, geography, language, arithmetic, reading, writing, and spelling.
Young women learned how to do household tasks, and had the chance to learn nursing skills or office work.
Pointed out how the American Indians were lacking in a lot of basic, everyday needs, and the help they were “getting” was failing as well.
This allowed the government to establish alternative methods to creating better conditions for the American Indians in all aspects, including education.
The publishing of the Meriam Report changed the thinking and acting of government, and was a significant landmark in history that has and continues to benefit Native Americans.
The boarding schools now are very different than they were when they were first established due to the Meriam Report. Education in general for Native Americans has/is slowly getting better as time goes on. The government is being more supportive of the schools, and is providing more funding for them. There are still boarding schools available for students to attend, as well as more higher education opportunities specific to the Native American population for those who prefer not to attend public institutions.
The Meriam Report, along with boarding schools, shows that the future of education among the Native American population has the potential to continue to grow. The Meriam Report has been/currently is/and will continue to affect the education system for Native Americans in every aspect possible, all the way from fundamental needs to financing the Indian Education program to the course of study for Indian Schools and everything in between. While there has been improvement and still more needed, it is occurring and will continue to occur in the education system as years pass.
How can we influence our classrooms?
Remember the boarding schools when talking to American Indian parents.
Identify how the assimilation of American Indians is still imbedded into today’s curriculum.
Fill in the gaps in your own education.
Understanding that American Indian knowledge is relevant to our lives.
Try to increase understanding of the accomplishments of American Indians through every subject.
Hopkins, T.R. (2008, April 25). Meriam Report Education Section A Scanned-Digitized Version. Retrieved October 13, 2008, from ANKN Web site: http://www.ankn.uaf.edu/curriculum/Articles/History/TomHopkins/MeriamEducation/
Keohane, S (2008). Retrieved October 14, 2008, from Reservation Boarding Schools Web site: http://www.twofrog.com/rezsch.html
Marr, C.J. Assimilation Through Education: Indian Boarding schools in the Pacific Northwest. Retrieved October 6, 2008, from http://content.lib.washington.edu/aipnw/marr.html
Meriam Report. In U.S. History Encyclopedia Online . Retrieved October 6, 2008, from http://www.answers.com/topic/meriam-report
(2003, September 15). Where Do We Go from Here?. Retrieved October 10, 2008, from Brainwashing and Boarding Schools: Undoing the Shameful Legacy Web site: http://www.kporterfield.com/aicttw/articles/boardingschool.html
(2004). Alaskool. Retrieved October 14, 2008, from Chapter IX Education Web site: http://www.alaskool.org/native_ed/research_reports/IndianAdmin/Chapter9.html#chap9
(2007). American Indian History, Culture, and Spirituality. Retrieved October 17, 2008, from The Meriam Report Web site: http://www.spirittalknews.com/MeriamReport.htm
Google Image. http://cache.eb.com/eb/image?id=99104&rendTypeId=4
Google Image. http://www.bringinghistoryhome.org/image_library/5_6/6-16.gif