Native Education

Native peoples have undergone hundreds of years of education by settler communities. Education normally applied to children who were forced into day and boarding schools. At the boarding schools the children were forced into an immersive environment where they were forcefully taught not to be Indians and instead be white.  But adult populations were also subjected to missionization and forced into roles of farmers and ranchers as a way of teaching them the skills they needed to fit into Euro-American societies, to assimilate. Education was largely successful with many tens of thousands of children being forced to attend schools where they learned foreign languages, foreign cultures and skills for getting work in jobs and trades that were mainly outside of the reservation and their culture. Many students educated in this manner never returned to their communities.  Through education identities of native people were altered as the Americans sought to civilize them. The carrot was citizenship, because in 1869 Indian policy changed under President Grant, who said that he would support a path to citizenship for Indians who were civilized.

The following essays address mainly the education policies regarding native peoples on western Oregon with specific examples from the Grand Ronde tribe or Chemawa Indian school.

History of Early Oregon Indian Education
Two Schools at Grand Ronde Indian Reservation, 1863
The 1867 Manual Labor School at Grand Ronde
Agent McClane struggles with Native Culture, Grand Ronde 1886
Enforced Assimilation in Tribal Correspondence about the Grand Ronde Boarding School
Lessons from the Indian Internment at Indian Reservations and Boarding Schools
Dispelling the Cloud of Black Eternity: the Willamette School at Grand Ronde in 1857
Methodists in Oregon


The Charles Holmes Collection of Chemawa Indian School Documents
Chief Eagle Horse Baritone Singer from Alaska
Cowboys and Indians Forever
Pride for the True Americans

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