Boarding School Essay.docx - Boarding schools for the...

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Boarding schools for the Natives were a place for them to assimilate to the white ways. It caused them to lose traditions, language, cultures, and what made them Natives. Hair was cut, they were forced to wear white man's clothes, learn and speak english, and Christianity. By the time the children went home, they had nothing in common with their parents nor could they talk to them. In order to completely understand what happened to the Indian children at a boarding school let's look at their lives before the school started. Native children stayed close to their mamas for the first years of their lives. If the child couldn't walk yet they were carried on her back while she worked. Children were looked at as the future and were celebrated. They didn’t have former teachings like we do because they learned life as they lived and experienced it. The girls stayed with the women and the boys with the men. They learned how to ride horses, hunt, fish, cook, tan hides, and everything the adults did. They spent a lot of time playing with other children and forging lifelong bonds. Grandparents were an important role in their upbringing. The children were told stories of their past and of their heritage. The stories were not just for entertainment as they were a learning experience also. They had the freedom to hunt, play, and live how they wanted as no one forced them to do anything. Tribes had their enemies but it was always handled with respect to each tribe. During battles, women and children were normally spared to make sure bloodlines lived on. To them that was just a normal way of life that didn’t need to be changed. Now let’s see what happened when the boarding schools came into the picture and how it changed the Indian life. The primary goal of the boarding schools was to change the Native. The theory
was “kill the Indian save the man” and they tried through boarding schools at a young age. Starting around the age of 6 years, Native children were taken from their homes and put in the schools at the early age of 3 years old. That was the perfect age to take them away as they were not old enough yet to remember their name, they didn’t know the traditions, nor did they understand what it was that made them who they were. That age was easy to corrupt and wipe the brain clean of their heritage. They were taught to

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