American Indian Boarding Schools

Primary Source Set

Throughout the nineteenth century, boarding schools were established to educate and assimilate American Indian children according to US cultural standards and values. These schools, predominantly run by Christian missionaries, were often funded by the federal government and worked to “civilize” Native American children, forcing many to abandon their names, cultures, and identities in the process. This collection of photos and documents shows what life was like for the many children enrolled in American Indian boarding schools.

Additional resources for research

  1. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Records: BIA Schools, The National Records and Archives Administration.

  2. Assimilation Through Education: Indian Boarding Schools in the Pacific Northwest, University of Washington University Libraries.

  3. Native Words, Native Warriors: Boarding Schools, The Smithsonian Institution.

  4. Indian Boarding Schools, The Library of Congress.

  5. Indian Country Diaries: Indian Boarding Schools, PBS.

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