AISpaper#1 - Cassie Fenley Response Paper #1 2/6/2008...

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Cassie Fenley Response Paper #1 2/6/2008 American Indian Education The education of American Indians began in the 1500’s during the pre-colonial and colonial eras. The Europeans who “discovered” the land that is now known as America thought it would be best to educate young American Indians about the European ways of living. This sort of education was called “assimilation”. Rather than educating the American Indians with useful education that they could use later on, they planned to “civilize” them by removing the Indian from within. The goal of the pre colonial and colonial eras were mainly to Christianize and “civilize” the American Indians. I put quotations around the world “civilize” because the settlers believed the American Indians were primitive with their ways. This was the settler’s opinion, and the American Indians had no choice or alternate option when the settlers “discovered” America. One of the first schools to open up strictly for American Indians was the Jesuits Establish School in Havana, Florida. Moving into the 1700s and 1800s, the Federal Period came along. During this period, the goal was to fully assimilate American Indians through vocational training. Assimilation is defined as: bringing someone into conformity with the customs, attitudes, etc., of a group or nation. This is exactly what the “white people” wanted of the
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American Indians. A quote that we discussed in lecture was, “kill the Indian, save the man,” said by Captain Richard Henry Pratt. This quote embodies what the goal of the boarding schools and American Indian education truly was. These strict schools wanted to suck out every last tradition, custom and word of the Indian’s native land. Richard Henry Pratt was the founder of the Carlisle Boarding School in Pennsylvania. He founded this school in 1879, in the Federal Period and it was the first boarding school located off of a reservation. These boarding schools located off of reservations took the students away from their homes and families. Tsianina Lomawaina and Teresa McCarty state in their book, To Remain an Indian , “ ‘Primitive’ native societies were assumed to entirely lack or possess only rudimentary forms of the building blocks of a civilized society, such as, governing bodies, codes of law, or organized religion. U.S. educators also assumed that Native
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AISpaper#1 - Cassie Fenley Response Paper #1 2/6/2008...

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