Boarding Schools

Posted on March 6, 2012 by

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My topic for this TED-style talk is Native American boarding schools. I chose this topic because we watched a video that had a short segment on these boarding schools, and it struck me as an extremely important topic to pursue. Part of what makes it so interesting to me is how it is almost a metaphor for the entire relationship between Native Americans and the invading Westerners. The Westerns came in a tried to force their learning and education, what they deemed as important, onto the Native American populations, while not being receptive to any of the Native American education and way of life. So instead of trying to learn from each other, the Europeans simply came in and took children away to teach them what they believed was the “better” way to live, which for the Native American culture, was irrelevant and useless. This interaction fascinates me, so I want to study why this happened the way it did and what this meant for all Native Americans, and specifically why the Europeans refused to learn anything from the Native Americans. I have some good primary sources from both the invading people and also from the Native Americans, as well as other sources for background information on what the boarding school experience was like.

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