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Introduction The goal of Indian education from the s through the s was to assimilate Indian people into the melting pot of America by placing them in institutions where traditional Save the children essay could be replaced by those sanctioned by the government.
Federal Indian policy called for the removal of children from their families and in many cases enrollment in a government run boarding school. In this way, the policy makers believed, young people would be immersed in the values and practical knowledge of the dominant American society while also being kept away from any influences imparted by their traditionally-minded relatives.
Indian Boarding School Movement The Indian boarding school movement began in the post Civil War era when idealistic reformers turned their attention to the plight of Indian people. Whereas before many Americans regarded the native people with either fear or loathing, the reformers believed that with the proper education and treatment Indians could become just like other citizens.
They convinced the leaders of Congress that education could change at least some of the Indian population into patriotic and productive members of society.
Pratt was a leading proponent of the assimilation through education policy. Believing that Indian ways were inferior to those of whites, he subscribed to the principle, "kill the Indian and save the man.
Photographs taken at the school illustrate how they looked "before" and "after". The dramatic contrast between traditional clothing and hairstyles and Victorian styles of dress helped convince the public that through boarding school education Indians could become completely "civilized".
Following the model of Carlisle, additional off reservation boarding schools were established in other parts of the country, including Forest Grove, Oregon later known as Chemawa. Reservation boarding schools had the advantage of being closer to Indian communities and as a result had lower transportation costs.
Contact between students and their families was somewhat restricted as students remained at the school for eight to nine months of the year. Relatives could visit briefly at prescribed times. School administrators worked constantly to keep the students at school and eradicate all vestiges of their tribal cultures.
Day schools, which were the most economical, usually provided only a minimal education. They worked with the boarding schools by transferring students for more advanced studies. In the Pacific Northwest, treaties negotiated with the Indians during the s included promises of educational support for the tribes.
For example, Article 10 of the Medicine Creek Treaty signed by members of the Nisqually, Squaxin, Puyallup and Steilacoom Tribes on December 26, called for the establishment of an agricultural and industrial school "to be free to the children of said tribes for a period of 20 years.
A similar clause appears in the Treaty of Point Elliott, signed by representatives of tribes living in the central and northern Puget Sound region. The promised schools did not come into existence for several years. In the s and s a few small reservation boarding schools were established on the Chehalis, Skokomish and Makah Reservations.
These institutions, which had fewer than 50 students, were all closed by and replaced by day schools.
In Tacoma, a one-room shack served as a day school for young Puyallup Indians beginning in By students had begun boarding at the school and during the s enrollment increased to pupils.
At the turn of the century, Cushman Indian School had become a large industrial boarding school, drawing over students from around the Northwest and Alaska. The Report of Superintendent of Indian Schools praised Cushman for being well equipped for industrial training and photographs show a modern machine shop.
Cushman remained one of the largest on reservation boarding schools in the region until it closed in Indian Training School boys activities Meanwhile, on many reservations missionaries operated schools that combined religious with academic training. Chirouse opened a school in for six boys and five girls.
By he had 15 pupils and the school continued to grow under the auspices of the Sisters of Providence. At these missionary run schools, traditional religious and cultural practices were strongly discouraged while instruction in the Christian doctrines took place utilizing pictures, statues, hymns, prayers and storytelling.
Some missionary schools received federal support, particularly at times when Congress felt less inclined to provide the large sums of money needed to establish government schools.
The Tulalip Mission School became the first contract Indian school, an arrangement whereby the government provided annual funds to maintain the buildings while the Church furnished books, clothing, housing and medical care. In Congress drastically reduced the funding for mission schools and eventually, in the winter ofthe Tulalip school became a federal facility.
The old school buildings were destroyed by fire in On January 23,exactly fifty years after the signing of the Point Elliott Treaty, a new and larger school opened along the shores of Tulalip Bay.
The first year it had only one dormitory, but by both girls' and boys' buildings were completed and the school had a capacity enrollment of students.
The children ranged in age from 6 to 18 years and came from many different reservations as well as some off reservation communities.
It was not uncommon for teachers at day schools to recommend certain students for the boarding school. Because Tulalip offered a maximum of eighth grade education, some students transferred to Chemawa for more advanced training.
Fort Spokane Boarding School opened in with an enrollment of 83 pupils and grew to by It operated only until after which time the children attended day schools closer to their homes.
Similarly, the military facility at Fort Simcoe became a school for the Yakama and their neighbors.
The national system of Indian education, including both off reservation boarding schools, reservation boarding schools and day schools, continued to expand at the turn of the century.Argumentative Essay Topics From Team At Essay Basics Click To See Examples Of Argumentative Writing.
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Editor’s note: On Jan. 12, Kate DiCamillo responded to de la Peña’s questions. Read her essay here.. Twice this past fall I was left speechless by a child.