One of the worst policies in the history of this country has to be the native american boarding school policy. This policy put in place with the stated intent to “Kill the Indian and save the man”. By far one of our worst decisions. The federal government was trying to force the natives to give up their ways and become Americanized. This was a part of a broader plan to eliminate natives.
Under this policy children were torn from their homes and forces into boarding schools. Many of the boarding schools were run by churches. At these schools, the children were forced to give up their way of life. This meant that they could not speak in the language, they had their hair cut short and their clothes were burned, and they were forced to wear western clothing.
Punishment for breaking the rules was swift and harsh. The methods varied from school to school. Sex abuse was common, and death was rampant. They were not being taught as much as indoctrinated. The intent was not as much education in the 3 r’s as much as how to be white.
Today during our J-term afternoon session we had a speaker talk to the students about boarding schools from his perspective has the son of a survivor of a boarding school. But today’s speaker is not the first one to bring up the boarding school issue during their presentation.
The ongoing effect of these boarding schools is still being felt today.
I will write more on boarding schools in upcoming posts.
God Loves you and so do I!