Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940

Front Cover
U of Nebraska Press, 1998 - Social Science - 143 pages
3 Reviews
Boarding School Seasons offers a revealing look at the strong emotional history of Indian boarding school experiences in the first half of the twentieth century. At the heart of this book are the hundreds of letters written by parents, children, and school officials at Haskell Institute in Kansas and the Flandreau School in South Dakota. These revealing letters show how profoundly entire families were affected by their experiences.

Children, who often attended schools at great distances from their communities, suffered from homesickness, and their parents from loneliness. Parents worried continually about the emotional and physical health and the academic progress of their children. Families clashed repeatedly with school officials over rampant illnesses and deplorable living conditions and devised strategies to circumvent severely limiting visitation rules. Family intimacy was threatened by the school's suppression of traditional languages and Native cultural practices.

Although boarding schools were a threat to family life, profound changes occurred in the boarding school experiences as families turned to these institutions for relief during the Depression, when poverty and the loss of traditional seasonal economics proved a greater threat. Boarding School Seasons provides a multifaceted look at the aspirations and struggles of real people.

 

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Review: Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940

User Review  - Melissa Bialecki - Goodreads

I read this book for a research paper on the Haskell Indian School I'm writing for my Native American History class. I found the book incredibly informative. I liked that it used mostly letters ... Read full review

Review: Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940

User Review  - Melanie - Goodreads

Interesting research including the voices of the students and their parents. I especially enjoyed reading their letters. The pain of parents separated from their children was palpable. It was, however, somewhat repetitive. Read full review

Contents

Star Quilts and Jim Thorpe
1
From Reservation to Boarding School
9
Train Time
26
Homesickness
43
Illness and Death
55
Working for the School
69
Runaway Boys Resistant Girls
87
Conclusion
96
Red Lake Students Who Attended Nonreservation Schools Circa 1929
101
Flandreau Enrollment Figures 18931939
108
Flandreau Enrollment Distributions by Tribe and by State 193738
110
Haskell Institute Cemetery Burials by Tribe Name on Tombstone
112
Notes
117
Bibliography
135
Index
139
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Brenda J. Child is an associate professor of American studies at the University of Minnesota.

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