Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe Follow @OurVoicesEcho
This is a manual cover page from the Government and Church in 1916 on how to kidnap Indigenous children from their parents by removing their culture, language, and identity and assimilating them into the dominant culture. “The great aim of our legislation has been to do away with the tribal system and assimilate the Indian people in all respects with the other inhabitants of the Dominion as speedily as they are fit to change.” 1887 – John A McDonald. Architect of the Indian Act
The government paid religious orders to provide basic education to Native American children on reservations. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) founded additional boarding schools based on the assimilation model of the off-reservation Carlisle Indian Industrial School.
The US government wanted to destroy the identity of Indians by ripping over 100,000 children from their homes and families and put in boarding schools to be “civilized” by beating the native out of them with leather belts, whips and sticks.
Classes at Chemewa Indian School began with 18 students—14 boys and 4 girls
460 boarding and day schools had been built near reservations, most run by religious organizations with government funds. All told, more than 100,000 1st Nation Indigenous Native Americans were forced by the U.S. government to attend Christian schools where tribal languages and cultures were replaced by English and Christianity. Students were prohibited from speaking their native languages. Instead, they were supposed to converse and even think in English. If they were caught “speaking Indian” they were severely beaten with a leather belt.
Harper’s Weekly Jan. 16, 1869
Virtually imprisoned in the schools, children experienced a devastating litany of abuses, from forced assimilation and grueling labor to widespread sexual and physical abuse “where recent generations learned the fine art of standing in line single-file for hours without moving a hair, as a lesson in discipline; where our best and brightest earned graduation certificates for homemaking and masonry; where the sharp rules of immaculate living were instilled through blistered hands and knees on the floor with scouring toothbrushes; where mouths were scrubbed with lye and chlorine solutions for uttering Native words.”
The boarding schools ran on bare-bones budgets, and large numbers of students died from starvation and disease because of inadequate food and medical care. School officials routinely forced children to do arduous work to raise money for staff salaries and “leased out” students during the summers to farm or work as domestics for white families.
Physical hardship, however, was merely the backdrop to a systematic assault on Native culture. School staff sheared children’s hair, banned traditional clothing and customs, and forced children to worship as Christians. Eliminating Native languages — considered an obstacle to the “acculturation” process — was a top priority, and teachers devised an extensive repertoire of punishments for uncooperative children. “I was forced to eat an entire bar of soap for speaking my language,” says AIUSA activist Byron Wesley (Navajo).
Students at residential schools faced a number of hazards, from fires to experimentation, according to the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Children Who Never Came Home
Many children died while in the Indian Residential School system. Their bodies were often buried at cemeteries near the schools. Some families didn’t know (and still don’t) what happened to their children or their bodies. Many of its children died of abuse, diseases to which they had no immunity, and homesickness. Imagine being taken from your family, sent thousands of miles away, prohibited from speaking your language, and forced into a military-style existence.
After the United States declared independence, American politicians quickly identified dissolution of Native American cultures as a necessary step in undermining tribal saliency and in ensuring the political dominion of state and federal governments. By the 19th century, policymakers were convinced that encouraging Indians to put aside their “savage ways” would help tribal populations achieve cultural and spiritual salvation through Christianity. In 1869, President Grant initiated a “Peace Policy” granting Christian missions contracts and federal funding to civilize and Christianize the Native American peoples of assigned reservations. The federal government established boarding schools for the children of tribal communities to teach English, Christianity, and occupational skills in order to “Kill the Indian in him and Save the Man.”
Thomas Moore Photo and bio Credit student register for the Regina Indian Industrial School, 1891 to 1908 (microfilm R-2.40, see entry No. 22): Thomas Moore was admitted to the Regina Indian Industrial School on August 26, 1891 when he was 8 years old. He was a full-blooded Indian from the Saulteaux tribe. He was from the Muscowpetung Band which is about 35 miles northeast of Regina. His full name was Thomas Moore Kusick. His father was St.(?) Paul Desjarlais (deceased) and his mother’s name was Hanna Moore Kusick. The boy was a Protestant and had previously attended Lakes End School. His state of education upon admission consisted of knowing the alphabet. His height was 3 feet, 11 inches and he weighed 54 1/2 pounds.
Above: Tom Tortino (Navajo) 1882 (left) 3 years later 1885 (right) Carlisle Indian Industrial School
Not until 1969, and after years of unequal schooling, the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) was formed to fight for equal education for 1st Nation Indigenous Native Americans.
140 NATIVE AMERICAN BOARDING SCHOOLS
1. Absentee Shawnee Boarding School, near Shawnee, Indian Territory open 1893–99
2. Albuquerque Indian School, Albuquerque, New Mexico
3. Anadarko Boarding School, Anadarko, Oklahoma open 1911–33
4. Arapaho Manual Labor and Boarding School, Darlington, Indian Territory opened in 1872 and paid with by federal funds but run by the Hicksite (Liberal) Friends and Orthodox Quakers. Moved to Concho Indian Boarding School in 1909.
5. Armstrong Academy, near Chahta Tamaha, Indian Territory
6. Asbury Manual Labor School, near Fort Mitchell, Alabama open 1822–30 by the United Methodist Missions.
7. Asbury Manual Labor School, near Eufaula, Creek Nation, Indian Territory, open 1850–88 by the United Methodist Missions.
8. Bacone College, Muscogee, Oklahoma, 1881–present
9. Bloomfield Female Academy, originally near Achille, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory. Opened in 1848 but relocated to Ardmore, Oklahoma around 1917 and in 1934 was renamed Carter Seminary.
10. Bond’s Mission School or Montana Industrial School for Indians, run by Unitarians, Crow Indian Reservation near Custer Station, Montana, 1886–97
11. Burney Institute, near Lebanon, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory open 1854–87 when name changed to Chickasaw Orphan Home and Manual Labor School and operated by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
12. Cameron Institute, Cameron, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory open 1893–early 20th century, was operated by the Presbyterian Church
13. Cantonment Indian Boarding School, Canton, Indian Territory run by the General Conference Mennonites from September, 1882 to 1 July 1927
14. Carlisle Indian School, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, open 1879–1918
15. Carter Seminary, Ardmore, Oklahoma 1917–2004 when the facility moved to Kingston, Oklahoma and was renamed the Chickasaw Children’s Village.
16. Chamberlain Indian School, Chamberlain, South Dakota
17. Chemawa Indian School, Salem, Oregon
18. Cherokee Female Seminary, Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory open 1851–1910
19. Cherokee Male Seminary, Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory open 1851–1910
20. Cherokee Orphan Asylum, Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory opened in 1871
21. Cheyenne-Arapaho Boarding School, Darlington, Indian Territory opened 1871 became the Arapaho Manual Labor and Boarding School in 1879
22. Cheyenne Manual Labor and Boarding School, Caddo Springs, Indian Territory, opened 1879 and paid with by federal funds, but run by the Hicksite (Liberal) Friends and Orthodox Quakers. Moved to Concho Indian Boarding School in 1909.
23. Chickasaw (male) Academy, near Tishomingo, Chickasaw Nation, Oklahoma Opened in 1850 by the Methodist Episcopal Church and changed its name to Harley Institute around 1889.
24. Chickasaw Children’s Village, on Lake Texoma near Kingston, Oklahoma opened 2004
25. Chickasaw National Academy, near Stonewall, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory Open about 1865 to 1880
26. Chickasaw Orphan Home and Manual Labor School (formerly Burney Academy) near Lebanon, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory open 1887–1906
27. Chilocco Indian Agricultural School, Chilocco, Oklahoma, open 1884–1980
28. Chinle Boarding School, Many Farms, Arizona
29. Choctaw Academy, Blue Spring, Scott County, Kentucky opened 1825
30. Chuala Female Seminary (also known as the Pine Ridge Mission School), near Doaksville, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory open 1838–61 by the Presbyterian Church
31. Circle of Nations Indian School , Wahpeton, North Dakota
32. Colbert Institute, Perryville, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory open 1852–57 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South
33. Collins Institute, near Stonewall, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory Open about 1885 to 1905
34. Concho Indian Boarding School, Concho, Oklahoma open 1909–83
35. Creek Orphan Asylum, Okmulgee, Creek Nation, Indian Territory opened 1895
36. Darlington Mission School, Darlington, Indian Territory run by the General Conference Mennonites from 1881 to 1902
37. Dwight Mission, Marble City, Oklahoma
38. Elliott Academy (formerly Oak Hill Industrial Academy), near Valliant, Oklahoma, 1912–36
39. El Meta Bond College, Minco, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, open 1890–1919
40. Emahaka Mission, Wewoka, Seminole Nation, Indian Territory open 1894–1911
41. Euchee Boarding School, Sapulpa, Creek Nation, Indian Territoryopen 1894–1947
42. Eufaula Dormitory, Eufaula, Oklahoma name changed from Eufaula High School in 1952. Still in operation
43. Eufaula Indian High School, Eufaula, Creek Nation, Indian Territory replaced the burned Asbury Manual Labor School. Open in 1892–1952, when the name changed to Eufaula Dormitory
44. Flandreau Indian School, South Dakota
45. Folsom Training School, near Smithville, Oklahoma open 1921–32, when it became an all-white school
46. Fort Bidwell School, Fort Bidwell, California
47. Fort Coffee Academy, Fort Coffee, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory Open 1840–63 and run by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South
48. Fort Shaw Indian School, Fort Shaw, Montana
49. Fort Sill Indian School (originally known as Josiah Missionary School), near Fort Sill, Indian Territoryopened in 1871 by the Quakers, remained open until 1980
50. Fort Totten Indian Industrial School, Fort Totten, North Dakota Boarding and Indian Industrial School in 1891–1935. Became a Community and Day School from 1940 to 1959. Now a Historic Site run by the State Historic Society of North Dakota.
51. Genoa Indian Industrial School, Genoa, Nebraska
52. Goodland Academy & Indian Orphanage, Hugo, Oklahoma
53. Greenville School, California
54. Hampton Institute, began accepting Native students in
55. Harley Institute, near Tishomingo, Chickasaw Nation, Oklahoma Prior to 1889 was known as the Chickasaw Academy and was operated by the Methodist Episcopal Church until 1906.
56. Haskell Indian Industrial Training School, Lawrence, Kansas, 1884–present
57. Hayward Indian School, Hayward, Wisconsin
58. Hillside Mission School, near Skiatook, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory open 1884–1908 by the Quakers
59. Holbrook Indian School, Holbrook, Arizona
60. Ignacio Boarding School, Colorado
61. Iowa Mission School, near Fallis, Iowa Reservation, Indian Territory open 1890–93 by the Quakers
62. Intermountain Indian School, Utah
63. Jones Academy, Hartshorne, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory/Oklahoma] Opened in 1891
64. Koweta Mission School Coweta, Creek Nation, Indian Territory open 1843–61
65. Levering Manual Labor School, Wetumka, Creek Nation, Indian Territory Open 1882–91, operated by the Southern Baptist Convention.
66. Many Farms High School, near Many Farms, Arizona
67. Marty Indian School, Marty, South Dakota
68. Mekasukey Academy, near Seminole, Seminole Nation, Indian Territory open 1891–1930
69. Morris Industrial School for Indians, Morris, Minnesota, open 1887–1909
70. Mount Edgecumbe High School, Sitka, Alaska, established as a BIA school, now operated by the State of Alaska
71. Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, 1893–1934
72. Murray State School of Agriculture, Tishomingo, Oklahoma, est. 1908
73. Nenannezed Boarding School, New Mexico
74. New Hope Academy, Fort Coffee, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory Open 1844–96 and run by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South
75. Nuyaka School and Orphanage (Nuyaka Mission, Presbyterian), Okmulgee, Creek Nation, Indian Territory, 1884–1933
76. Oak Hill Industrial Academy, near Valliant, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory Open 1878–1912 by the Presbyterian Mission Board. The Choctaw freedmen’s academy was renamed as the Elliott Academy (aka Alice Lee Elliott Memorial Academy) in 1912.
77. Oak Ridge Manual Labor School, near Holdenville Indian Territory in the Seminole Nation. Open 1848–60s by the Presbyterian Mission Board.
78. Oklahoma Presbyterian College for Girls, Durant, Oklahoma
79. Oklahoma School for the Blind, Muskogee, Oklahoma
80. Oklahoma School for the Deaf, Sulphur, Oklahoma
81. Oneida Indian School, Wisconsin
82. Osage Boarding School, Pawhuska, Osage Nation, Indian Territory open 1874–1922
83. Park Hill Mission School, Park Hill Indian Territory/Oklahoma opened 1837
84. Pawnee Boarding School, Pawnee, Indian Territory, open 1878–1958
85. Phoenix Indian School, Phoenix, Arizona
86. Pierre Indian School, Pierre, South Dakota
87. Pine Ridge Boarding School, Pine Ridge, South Dakota
88. Pine Ridge Mission School, near Doaksville, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory see Chuala Female Seminary
89. Pinon Boarding School, Pinon, Arizona
90. Pipestone Indian School, Pipestone, Minnesota
91. Quapaw Industrial Boarding School, Quapaw Agency Indian Territory open 1872–1900
92. Rainy Mountain Boarding School, near Gotebo, Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Reservation, Indian Territory, open 1893–1920
93. Rapid City Indian School, Rapid City, South Dakota
94. Red Moon School, near Hammon, Indian Territory open 1897–1922
95. Riverside Indian School, Anadarko, Oklahoma open 1871–present
96. Sac and Fox Boarding School, near Stroud, Indiant Territory, open 1872–1919 by the Quakers
97. Sacred Heart College, near Asher, Potowatamie Nation, Indian Territory open 1884–1902
98. Sacred Heart Institute, near Asher, Potowatamie Nation, Indian Territory open 1880–1929
99. St. Agnes Academy, Ardmore, Oklahoma
100. St. Agnes Mission, Antlers, Oklahoma
101. St. Boniface Indian School, Banning, California
102. St. Elizabeth’s Boarding School, Purcell, Oklahoma
103. St. John’s Boarding School, Gray Horse, Osage Nation, Indian Territory open 1888–1913 and operated by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions
104. St. Joseph’s Boarding School, Chickasha, Oklahoma
105. St. Mary’s Academy, near Asher, Potowatamie Nation, Indian Territory open 1880–1946
106. St. Louis Industrial School, Pawhuska, Osage Nation, Indian Territory open 1887–1949 and operated by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions
107. St. Mary’s Boarding School, Quapaw Agency Indian Territory/Oklahoma open 1893–1927
108. St. Patrick’s Mission and Boarding School, Anadarko, Indian Territory open 1892–1909 by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions. It was rebuilt and called the Anadarko Boarding School.
109. San Juan Boarding School, New Mexico
110. Santa Fe Indian School, Santa Fe, New Mexico
111. Sasakwa Female Academy, Sasakwa, Seminole Nation, Indian Territory open 1880–92 and run by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South
112. Seger Indian Training School, Colony, Indian Territory
113. Seneca, Shawnee, and Wyandotte Industrial Boarding School, Wyandotte, Indian Territory
114. Sequoyah High School, Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory
115. Shawnee Boarding School, near Shawnee, Indian Territory, open 1876–1918
116. Shawnee Boarding School, Shawnee, Oklahoma open 1923–61
117. Sherman Indian High School, Riverside, California
118. Shiprock Boarding School, Shiprock, New Mexico
119. Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico
120. Spencer Academy (sometimes referred to as the National School of the Choctaw Nation), near Doaksville, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory open 1842–1900
121. Springfield Indian School, Springfield, South Dakota
122. Stewart Indian School, Carson City, Nevada
123. Sulphur Springs Indian School, Pontotoc County, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory open 1896–98
124. Theodore Roosevelt Indian Boarding School, founded in 1923 in buildings of the U.S. Army’s closed Fort Apache, Arizona, as of 2016 still in operation as a tribal school
125. Thomas Indian School, near Irving, New York
126. Tomah Indian School, Wisconsin
127. Tullahassee Mission School, Tullahassee, Creek Nation, Indian Territory opened 1850 burned 1880
128. Tullahassee Manual Labor School, Tullahassee, Creek Nation, Indian Territory open 1883–1914 for Creek Freedmen
129. Tushka Lusa Institute (later called Tuska Lusa or Tushkaloosa Academy), near Talihina, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory opened 1892 for Choctaw Freedmen
130. Tuskahoma Female Academy, Lyceum, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory open 1892–1925
131. Wahpeton Indian School, Wahpeton, North Dakota, 1904–93. In 1993 its name was changed to Circle of Nations School and came under tribal control. Currently open.
132. Wapanucka Academy (also sometimes called Allen Academy), near Bromide, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory Open 1851–1911 by the Presbyterian Church.
133. Wealaka Mission School Wealaka, Indian Territory open 1882–1907
134. Wewoka Mission School, (also known as Ramsey Mission School) near Wewoka, Seminole Nation, Indian Territory Open 1868–80 by the Presbyterian Mission Board.
135. Wheelock Academy, Millerton, Oklahoma closed 1955
136. White’s Manual Labor Institute, Wabash, Indiana Open 1870–95 and operated by the Quakers
137. White’s Manual Labor Institute, West Branch, Iowa, open 1881–87
138. Wetumka Boarding School, Wetumka, Creek Nation, Indian Territory Levering Manual Labor School transferred from the Baptists to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in 1891 and they changed the name to the Wetumka Boarding School. Operated until 1910.
139. Wittenberg Indian School, Wittenberg, Wisconsin
140. Yellow Springs School, Pontotoc County, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory open 1896–1905
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)