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  • Writer's pictureNotes From The Frontier

Kill the Indian, Save the Man

Updated: Dec 19, 2020

The horrors of forced enculturation of Native tribes into "American" life

Our photo of the day captures tragically the philosophy white Americans and the U.S. government had about "civilizing" and "Christianizing" Native Americans. After tribes were decimated and forced onto reservations, Native children were essentially kidnapped from their families and forced to live at boarding schools designed to immerse them in European-American culture through forced change and stripping them of any indigenous cultural traditions and identity.

Children were forced to cut their hair, wear "white" clothing, speak English, were forbidden practicing their own religion, language, or traditions, and were subjected to strict military-like regimens enforced by corporal punishment.

The most famous boarding school for Native children and the flagship institution by which all other boarding schools throughout the country modeled themselves was The Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Its official motto: "Kill the Indian, Save the Man."

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"Kill the Indian, Save the Man" was first posted on Facebook on April 2, 2020.

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Deborah Hufford

Author, Notes from the Frontier

Deborah Hufford is an award-winning author and magazine editor with a passion for history. Her popular blog with 100,000+ readers has led to an upcoming novel! Growing up as an Iowa farmgirl, rodeo queen and voracious reader, her love of land, lore and literature fired her writing muse. With a Bachelor's in English and Master's in Journalism from the University of Iowa, she taught students of Iowa's Writer's Workshop, then at Northwestern University, Marquette and Mount Mary. Her extensive publishing career began at Better Homes & Gardens, includes credits in New York Times Magazine, New York Times, Connoisseur, many other titles, and serving as publisher of The Writer's Handbook


Deeply devoted to social justice, especially for veterans, women, and Native Americans, she has served on boards and donated her fundraising skills to Chief Joseph Foundation, Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), Homeless Veterans Initiative, Humane Society, and other nonprofits.  


Deborah's soon-to-be released historical novel, BLOOD TO RUBIES weaves indigenous and pioneer history, strong women and clashing worlds into a sweeping saga praised by NYT bestselling authors as "crushing," "rhapsodic," "gritty," and "sensuous." Purchase BLOOD TO RUBIES online beginning June 9. Connect with Deborah on, Facebook, and Instagram.

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