American Indian Boarding Schools were established to force American Indians to assimilate with the “American way of life” in culture, language, and religion. In doing so, these boarding schools intentionally repressed the tribes’ culture, language, and religion.
- How were American Indian children impacted by the boarding schools?
- Why were American Indian children forbidden to speak their native languages at the boarding schools?
- Why did the missionaries believe that American Indian children should attend the boarding schools?
- How was communication the key to understanding for the missionaries and the Native American children?
Indian Agent Letter
This letter from 1877 reports the death of a Christian Native American to the Office of Indian Affairs.
Rev. D. F. McFarland
This series of letters from 1875 urges the Native American Boarding School in Lapwai, Idaho, to require English be the spoken language by Native Americans both in and out of the boarding school classroom.
The Indian Helper, Vol. 3 No. 6
This journal from 1887 contains the first part of an article titled “Home Difficulties of a Young Indian Girl,” which outlines the lived experiences of a Native American Boarding School student. Remember, this source is published from the perspective of missionaries running the boarding school.
The Indian Helper, Vol. 3 No. 8
This journal from 1887 contains the second part of the “Home Difficulties of a Young Indian Girl” article.
The Indian Helper, Vol. 3 No. 12
This journal from 1887 contains the third and final part of the “Home Difficulties of a Young Indian Girl” article.
Indian School Journal
This journal from 1918 contains an article titled “The Nez Perces as Christians and Patriots.” It provides information about missionary teachers Kate McBeth, Sue McBeth, and Mazie Crawford, and their work on a Native American Boarding School in Idaho.
The New Indian — Seeking for Souls, Not Scalps
This document from 1927 contains reasoning and justification for the existence of Native American Boarding Schools. Remember, this source is published from the perspective of missionaries running the boarding school.
Our Forest Children
This journal from 1889 contains an article titled “Indian Education.” It mentions the outing system, where Native American children are removed from their families and placed to live with white families instead.
Children in front of school
Lapwai School (1)
Lapwai School (2)
Children at Nez Perce Reservation School (1)
Children at Nez Perce Reservation School (2)
Schoolroom First Presbyterian Mission
Fort Lapwai Indian Sanitarium (Internal)
Fort Lapwai Indian Sanitarium (External)
Hospital Day at the Duck Valley Reservation School
Native American Boarding Schools Primary Source Set by the Library of Congress