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ERIC Number: ED476009
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Feb
Pages: 41
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Carlisle Indian Boarding School and Its Literary Legacy: The War with the Pen.
Harding, Letitia
When Richard Henry Pratt founded the Carlisle Indian Boarding School, he felt that assimilation of American Indians was the only alternative to annihilation. Much of the training at Carlisle was intended to break all connections between students and their families. However, the students did have opportunities to record their stories, ideas, and opinions in their school newspapers, even as they were controlled by white staff members. For Pratt's system to flourish, he intended that some graduates from Carlisle and other off-reservation boarding schools would either work at the schools as teachers or return to their reservations to continue his mission. Pratt's objectives required that the students learn both English and a marketable trade. However, some graduates used their newly-developed skills to decry assimilation policies and to denounce the methods practiced at the schools. The continuation of this criticism is apparent in modern Native American literature. In personal narratives, school newspapers, and later in autobiographical essays and stories, the legacy of Carlisle students was preserved and passed on to the present generation of Native American authors. In this way, the "enemy language" was used to continue the war with the pen and to ensure the survival of Indian cultures and heritage. (TD)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A