[Homestead] Boarding schools, was Who attacked whom?
bobford79 at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 5 17:46:14 EST 2008
Lynda, I doubt my friend would like being called an "apple". but, by that definition, other than on this subject, you are as 'white' as all of the rest of us (that is not a perjorative, coming from me).
My friend was proud to be Cherokee. Maybe as a middle aged man , he is more like you are now, I don't know. Just a normal Southern boy growing up; I see nothing wrong with that. His daddy could be a mean SOB (He pulled me over for speeding once -- he didn't ticket me but chewed me out).
By the wasy, they have had big reunions at the Indian School here. Indian School Road is one of the major roads in Phioenix. Indians come from all over the country for the reunions at the school. They seem to be proud of attending the school. It is a park, now. But, when I moved here, it was still a school. We also have a major Indian Hospital, where you must be an Indian to be seen. I don't really know how it wqorks, I've never been there.
I have a famous artist friend, last name Yazzi, so you know he is Navajo (D'Naia - sp?). He served a couple of tours in the Marines. very well educated and hangs out with the hipster artists, because he is an artist. He certainly wouldn't like to be called an apple.
I live in Phoenix, for goodness sakes, I have known, mostly casually, a lot of Indians. You know that Barry Goldwater had more influence in this state than any one man and he was a great friend of the Indians all of his life. I've also been to more than one rez, they can be rough. They have not only poverty , but gangs and drugs just like the city.. I don't think you should generalize about all Indians. They have very different experiences just like all other peoples.
What makes you so much different than me, as far as "red" and "white". Except for this issue, I agree with you on as many things, and approach life from a simiar angle to you as anyone else on this list and most of us, as far as I know, are white as apple pie ;-) ..........bobford
--- On Fri, 12/5/08, Lynda <lurine at softcom.net> wrote:
> From: Lynda <lurine at softcom.net>
> Subject: [Homestead] Boarding schools, was Who attacked whom?
> To: homestead at lists.ibiblio.org
> Date: Friday, December 5, 2008, 3:00 PM
> The whole boarding school thing went on in the U.S., Canada
> and Australia.
> Now, speaking of a violent nation, you might be interested
> to know that the
> Office of Indian Affairs (later to become the BIA) came
> into existance in
> 1824 as an office of . . . drumroll here <g> the
> United States Department of
> War! Kinda tells you right off the top exactly how the
> government felt
> about the Indians. And one of their first acts was the
> Indian Relocation
> Act of 1830. I would think most folks are familiar with
> the Trail of Tears
> (4,000 dead) which is a direct result of the IRA.
> So, around the 1850s the head honchos in the BIA decided
> that there should
> be a policy of "Americanization" of Indians
> (hmmmm, interesting how they
> wanted to make the First Americans into Americans). That
> plants a seed and
> pretty soon the good Christians are out in force with their
> schools with the intent of "Christianizing" the
> "heathens" and "savages."
> Grant comes along and wants the Indians to "embrace
> the only opportunity
> which is left them to avoid extermination."
> Next step was prison for 30 years for practicing
> "heathen rituals." Indians
> needed to "assimilate" and folks such as
> Bob's friend were the result,
> "apples" (red on the outside, white on the
> When all of this didn't work, they invented the
> boarding schools. Carlisle
> is the most famous (infamous?). It was founded by Richard
> Henry Pratt who
> said, and I quote, "A great general has said that the
> only good Indian is a
> dead one. In a sense, I agree with this sentiment, but
> only in this: that
> all the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill
> the Indian in him
> and save the man." He believed in "assimilation
> through total immersion"
> and commented that "as slavery has assimilated
> Africans, removing Indians
> entirely from their cultural surroundings will result in
> assimilation." Did I mention that he was an Army
> captain and that he
> practiced his "techniques" on prisoners before he
> opened his boarding
> In general, the children were rounded up and forcibly
> removed from their
> homes. They were not allowed to take any personal items
> with them.
> Generally, families were broken up and children from a
> family were sent to
> different boarding schools. Family and friends were
> *discouraged* from
> visiting. Upon arrival at the schools they were issues
> uniforms and their
> hair was cut. Buster Brown was the hair cut of choice
> because many tribes
> considered "shingled" hair to be a sign of
> weakness and worn by cowards.
> They had their names changed so their "pagan"
> past could be erased. A lot
> of the schools dressed the girls up in white dresses or
> white pinafores over
> their dresses. Native languages were not to be spoken.
> Punishment ranged
> from having their mouths washed out with lye soap to
> beatings to loss of
> food. Religion classes and church attendance was required
> daily. Getting
> the white dresses dirty resulted in beatings. Most of the
> schools hired out
> the boys as day labor. Girls were required to learn
> "womanly arts" and put
> to work in the local homes as maids. Some of the schools
> ran their own
> industries and farms.
> The usual brainwashing tactics were used --
> no privacy;
> going to bed and rising was done by signal;
> they wore uniforms;
> they marched to and from activities;
> they were arranged into "companies" under the
> command of student captains
> and majors;
> they were only allowed to bath once or twice weekly in
> students were expected to spy on each other and pitted
> against each other by
> administrators and teachers;
> they were "taught" that the Indian way of life
> was "savage" and "inferior"
> to the white way;
> they were taught they were being "civilized" or
> "raised up" to a better way
> of life;
> they were told that Indians who retained their culture were
> "dirty" and "backwards;"
> they were taught that those who most quickly assimilated
> were "good"
> they were taught that those who didn't assimilate were
> "bad" Indians;
> they were shamed and humilated for showing homesickness for
> their families;
> flogging or kneeling for extended periods of time were a
> Here's a poem written by one of the boarding school
> Six o'clock in the morning,
> Our breakfast comes around.
> A bowl of mush and molasses,
> Was enough to knock you down.
> Our coffee's like tobacco juice,
> Our bread is hard and stale,
> and that's the way they treat you
> At Mt. Pleasant Indian Jail.
> My aunts and uncle plus a few cousins were sent to the
> Hoopa Valley Indian
> Re-Education Center which was run, in part, by Shakers.
> Traumatic, not only
> in that they were taken away from home but traumatic
> because people didn't
> "go up the mountain where the crazy Indians
> live." Hoopa Valley is HOT,
> dry, dusty and there's a world of difference between it
> and the coast. The
> Hupa (the valley and the tribe are not spelled the same)
> kids were sent down
> to Riverside, for the most part.
> For the most part, the Wiyot were sent to Arizona. The
> Yurok were sent to
> Oregon. Somehow, probably knowing important people in high
> places, Grampa
> got his kids sent to a school he and Gramma could get to to
> visit them. And
> he did visit which was way against the rules. Again, he
> got white folks in
> high places to give him rides up to the rez (he never did
> drive). My uncle
> died when he was 12. Auntie Florence was 14 and Auntie
> Elsie was 11. A
> week after Sonny Boy died my grandparents were informed of
> his death. I'm
> not sure they would have been notitied that soon if Auntie
> Elsie hadn't
> become hysterical. There was nothing they could do to calm
> her down.
> Grampa got the message, called Old Man Carson and headed up
> the mountain to
> collect all three kids. Sonny Boy was buried in the
> cemetary we own.
> Auntie Florence never talked about the time at the boarding
> school and
> Auntie Elsie spent the next 50 years telling everyone she
> was W-H-I-T-E!
> She married a very blonde man and was quite upset when 2 of
> her 5 kids had
> dark hair.
> Sonny Boy had appendicitis. He was beat with a rubber hose
> and told to stop
> whining. That if he'd become a good Christian instead
> of a being a dirty
> heathen, this evil wouldn't be coming out of him. He
> was sent to his bunk
> without food (probably would have been a good thing). A
> couple of days
> later, the doctor made a routine visit to the school and he
> was diagnosed
> with acute appendicitis. They operated in the infirmary.
> His appendix had
> ruptured. They removed the appendix, cleaned up the
> abdominal cavity, sewed
> him up and promptly moved him to the little room off the
> main room. The
> next morning someone went to check on him. He'd rolled
> off the bed and bled
> to death. No one watched him as he came out from the
> anesthesia. There
> were no rails on the bed.
> O.K., that's the boarding school part. I'll put
> the tribe history in
> another e-mail. I'm inclined to write books instead of
> short e-mails <g>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "EarthNSky" <erthnsky at bellsouth.net>
> I'm glad you brought this up..I was actually thinking
> about it today.
> I would like to learn the whens, whos, wheres and whys of
> this..if you
> would oblige..
> I would like a brief tribe history.
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