A Brief History of The Native American Boarding Schools
The Native American boarding schools were established in the early 19th and mid 20th centuries. The young people back then didn’t have any idea about modern American culture. As a result, they faced difficulty in getting jobs.
These schools were meant to Americanize the Native American kids. These schools taught them about the new American culture by making them forget about their indigenous culture.
The method of teaching was very harsh. They were forced to cut their hair in a certain way, they were not allowed to speak in their language and sometimes they were even separated from their families.
They were forced to forget their Native American culture and identity and instead adopt the new American culture. Their names were even changed. The government insisted that the kids must forget their Native American culture and values.
In these schools, various subjects like language, mathematics, history, and science were taught. The mathematics involved learning from practical experiences. 7th grade math games required knowledge the students gained by observing their surroundings. The teaching style was mainly observation and learning.
The Native Americans didn’t’ like these boarding schools. A number of students dropped out of these schools. They later insisted on having community-based colleges instead so that their cultural values were not lost.
Many Native Americans moved to the urban environments to learn the new culture and mix with people other than their tribe. This is how they adapted to the new culture.
The Native American Boarding School was an unpleasant experience for the kids. The school’s teaching methods were harsh and the kids lost their original identity. Slowly, perceptions started to change and community schools were formed to meet the unique demands of the Native American kids.