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  • Notes From The Frontier

Kill the Indian, Save the Man

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."

You may also be interested in these related posts:

-Back from the Brink

-Vanishing Race

-The Heartbreaking Tale of Orphan Trains

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

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