ERIC Number: ED313203
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987-Mar
Education and the Native American.
Iannucilli, Mary V.
Traditionally, Native Americans educated their children through the oral transmission of beliefs and values. Christian missions dominated Indian education from the 16th to the 19th century and began the process of erasing Native American identity and culture. After the Civil War, control of 73 Indian agencies was assigned to 13 religious denominations, charged with teaching the "savages a better way of life" in preparation for assuming "the duties and privileges of citizenship." By 1900, the off-reservation boarding school had become the Federal Government's favored means of promoting Indian assimilation. A uniform course of study that ignored Native American cultural heritage was established in federal schools in 1916, and Congress made school attendance mandatory in all reservations and agencies in 1921. In 1928 a Senate investigation produced the Meriam Report, which recommended schooling within Indian communities and allocation of more money. John Collier, Indian Commissioner in the 1930s, encouraged the preservation of American Indian languages and culture, replaced boarding schools with reservation day schools, and hired the first Indian teachers in the federal system. During the 1940s, however, proposed changes in federal policy threatened to terminate the trust relationships that existed between the tribes and the U.S. Government. In 1944 resistance to termination led to the formation of the National Congress of American Indians and a new unity of spirit among Native Americans. The social consciousness of the 1960s provided money for a variety of programs, and several experimental Indian schools were begun. The last 15 years have seen the Indian people gradually changing the educational system, promoting a new emphasis on cultural awareness and sensitivity in the classroom. This paper includes 12 references. (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A