Finding Information on Native American Boarding Schools Difficult Task

时间:2021-07-22 01:56:05



The black-and-white photographs had stayed hidden for years. The images showed Native American students who were part of the first group to attend a boarding school in New Mexico.

A boarding school is a school where students live during the school term.

The first picture showed girls covered in cloth with Native American shoes on their feet. The next picture, taken just weeks later, was very different. In it, the students were in school uniforms. They wore work boots and large straw hats on their heads.

The photographs were taken in 1885. History professor Larry Larrichio said he found the pictures while researching something else. He works at the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico.

Larrichio immediately recognized their importance.

The images represented the attempt by the U.S. government, religious organizations and other groups to assimilate native youth into white society. The children were removed from their families and homes and sent to boarding schools. The effort lasted more than a century.

Today, the U.S. government is seeking to learn more about the nation's policies on Native American boarding schools, where reports of physical and sexual abuse were widespread.

The U.S. Interior Department has started going through records in hopes of finding past boarding schools and the names and tribes of students. The project also will try to find how many children died while attending those schools and were buried in mass graves.

Last week, the dug-up remains1 of nine Native American children who died more than 100 years ago were given to relatives. The children attended a government-run school in Pennsylvania. The remains were given to the Rosebud2 Sioux tribe in South Dakota.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo3 tribe. She is the first Native American to lead a cabinet agency. She promised a full investigation4. But she said it would be a painful and hard process.

The Interior Department and the National Archives have some records related to the boarding schools. But most of the records are spread around in places across the country. Many others have been lost or destroyed over the years.

The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition5 has been working to collect information about the schools for almost 10 years. The Minnesota-based group has identified nearly 370 schools. The group estimates that hundreds of thousands of Native American children attended the schools between 1869 and the 1960s.

Christine Diindiisi McCleave is head of the group and a member of the Turtle Mountain Ojibwe Nation. She said the group has found records for only 40 percent of the schools they have identified. What the research and family stories show is that many children never came back home.

The Interior Department has taken a first step to find more about the history. But Diindiisi McCleave and others are pushing for the establishment of a federal committee. A similar committee was created in Canada, where the remains of more than 1,000 children have been found in recent weeks at schools there.

In 1819, the United States passed the Indian Civilization Act. That and other laws supported Indian boarding schools across the nation. For over 150 years, native children were taken from their communities and forced into boarding schools.

New Mexico Indian Affairs Secretary Lynn Trujillo said her grandmother was taken to one of the boarding schools when she was 6 years old.

Native communities "have known about these atrocities6 for a very long time, but being able to bring them to light and talk about them — no matter how painful — is part of that process toward healing," Trujillo said.

For Diindiisi McCleave, moving forward with healing will require more research, data and understanding.

She said part of knowing the full truth will be hearing "the testimony7 of survivors8 and descendants."

Experts say the list of known boarding schools — and burial places — will only grow with more research.

In New Mexico, the Ramona Industrial School for Indian Girls opened in the mid-1880s. It was made up of mostly Apache students. Many of them had parents who were being held prisoner by the U.S. Army about 160 kilometers away. It was not far from the Santa Fe city center.

Larrichio was working on a project for the National Park Service years ago when he found reading material related to the school. Researching the school was a months-long effort that involved looking through hundreds of materials. There is only a small amount of information on the school. Some information is hidden in books that are about other subjects.

"A lot of this information is probably buried — literally9 buried," Larrichio said. "How many other stories are buried, and how much was purposefully destroyed?"

Words in This Story

straw — n. the dry stems of wheat and other grain plants

assimilate — v. to cause (a person or group) to become part of a different society, country, etc.

attire10 — n. clothing

grave – n. a hole in the ground for burying a dead body

archive — n. a place in which public records or historical materials (such as documents) are kept

atrocity11 — n. a very cruel or terrible act or action

testimony — n. something that someone says especially in a court of law while formally promising12 to tell the truth

descendant — n. someone who is related to a person or group of people who lived in the past



1 remains 1kMzTy     
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
2 rosebud xjZzfD     
  • At West Ham he was thought of as the rosebud that never properly flowered.在西汉姆他被认为是一个尚未开放的花蕾。
  • Unlike the Rosebud salve,this stuff is actually worth the money.跟玫瑰花蕾膏不一样,这个更值的买。
3 pueblo DkwziG     
  • For over 2,000 years,Pueblo peoples occupied a vast region of the south-western United States.在长达2,000多年的时间里,印第安人统治着现在美国西南部的大片土地。
  • The cross memorializes the Spanish victims of the 1680 revolt,when the region's Pueblo Indians rose up in violent protest against their mistreatment and burned the cit
4 investigation MRKzq     
  • In an investigation,a new fact became known, which told against him.在调查中新发现了一件对他不利的事实。
  • He drew the conclusion by building on his own investigation.他根据自己的调查研究作出结论。
5 coalition pWlyi     
  • The several parties formed a coalition.这几个政党组成了政治联盟。
  • Coalition forces take great care to avoid civilian casualties.联盟军队竭尽全力避免造成平民伤亡。
6 atrocities 11fd5f421aeca29a1915a498e3202218     
n.邪恶,暴行( atrocity的名词复数 );滔天大罪
  • They were guilty of the most barbarous and inhuman atrocities. 他们犯有最野蛮、最灭绝人性的残暴罪行。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The enemy's atrocities made one boil with anger. 敌人的暴行令人发指。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
7 testimony zpbwO     
  • The testimony given by him is dubious.他所作的证据是可疑的。
  • He was called in to bear testimony to what the police officer said.他被传入为警官所说的话作证。
8 survivors 02ddbdca4c6dba0b46d9d823ed2b4b62     
幸存者,残存者,生还者( survivor的名词复数 )
  • The survivors were adrift in a lifeboat for six days. 幸存者在救生艇上漂流了六天。
  • survivors clinging to a raft 紧紧抓住救生筏的幸存者
9 literally 28Wzv     
  • He translated the passage literally.他逐字逐句地翻译这段文字。
  • Sometimes she would not sit down till she was literally faint.有时候,她不走到真正要昏厥了,决不肯坐下来。
10 attire AN0zA     
  • He had no intention of changing his mode of attire.他无意改变着装方式。
  • Her attention was attracted by his peculiar attire.他那奇特的服装引起了她的注意。
11 atrocity HvdzW     
  • These people are guilty of acts of great atrocity.这些人犯有令人发指的暴行。
  • I am shocked by the atrocity of this man's crimes.这个人行凶手段残忍狠毒使我震惊。
12 promising BkQzsk     
  • The results of the experiments are very promising.实验的结果充满了希望。
  • We're trying to bring along one or two promising young swimmers.我们正设法培养出一两名有前途的年轻游泳选手。

本文本内容来源于互联网抓取和网友提交,仅供参考,部分栏目没有内容,如果您有更合适的内容,欢迎 点击提交 分享给大家。