ERIC Number: ED483294
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Native Students Balancing Two Worlds. Northwest Education. Volume 9, Number 3, Spring 2004
US Department of Education
At the close of the 19th century, thousands of Indian children were consigned to off-reservation boarding schools as part of the government's assimilation efforts. The youngsters were separated from their homes and families--often for years at a time--and forced to reject their traditional dress, language, and religion. The goal of these schools, as described by the founder of one such institution in Pennsylvania, was to "kill the Indian ? and save the man." One of the first of these boarding schools was the Forest Grove Indian Industrial and Training School, established in Oregon in 1880. Today, almost 125 years later, it is still operating on 400 wooded acres in Salem as the Chemawa Indian School. Home to 410 teenagers from 21 states, it has the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating boarding school in the United States. A stroll around the campus, just off Interstate 5, reveals just how far Native education has come: Gone are the uniforms, the focus on "the white man?s ways," and vocational courses like blacksmithing and dairying. State-of-the-art computer labs prepare students for the 21st century; regalia-making and drumming connect teens to their past; and vibrant murals line the hallways, a source of pride and a way for young artists to leave their mark. The academic and social issues that continue to cast a shadow over boarding schools like Chemawa also present challenges to tribal schools and public schools that serve the overwhelming majority of Native students today.
Descriptors: American Indians, American Indian Education, American Indian Culture, American Indian History, Educational History, Boarding Schools, Federal Indian Relationship
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 101 S.W. Main Street, Suite 500, Portland, OR 97204. Tel: 503-275-9515.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serial; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Northwest Regional Educational Lab., Portland, OR.