ERIC Number: ED257593
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
A Glance at the Evolution of Native American Education: From Christianization to Self-Determination.
Marshall, John D.
This paper provides a broad, sweeping glance at the early policies, attitudes, and activities surrounding the education of Native Americans. The Indian education efforts of the colonists--involving civilization, Christianization, and literacy--did little to alter Indian culture and were in most cases abandoned by the mid-1700's. During the Revolutionary War and westward expansion the policy was extermination and relocation of American Indians; education was a low priority. In 1834, Congress created the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Tribally-operated schools met with some success. By 1841 the Choctaw and Cherokee had bilingual schooling; some tribes reached 90% literacy. In the post-civil war period the Indian education policy was assimilation; the first off-reservation boarding schools were opened with that objective. Departure from assimilation came with the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, recognizing civil and cultural freedom. Following World War II the Government tried a policy of termination which resulted in the tribes' long-lasting distrust of government and stifled most efforts toward educational betterment. By the mid-sixties, a growing number of Indian people were committed to self-determination in educational matters. Their efforts brought changes, e.g., Indian controlled urban and reservation schools and growing numbers of Indians in universities and professions. Much remains to be changed in Indian education. Real improvement can be expected not from government policy but from those Native Americans determined to control their cultural destiny. (JHZ)
Descriptors: American Indian Education, American Indian History, American Indians, Boards of Education, Christianity, Church Role, Educational History, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Indian Relationship, Higher Education, Parochial Schools, Policy Formation, Self Determination, Tribal Sovereignty, Tribes, Trust Responsibility (Government), United States History
Publication Type: Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A