Saturday, August 23, 2014
Our spirits don't speak english!
After the civil war the American government was still facing what they called the "indian problem". Native American settlement and lifestyle wasn't meshing well with the new American frontier being developed. The plan was move the indians to reservations, and send the young ones to boarding schools to re-educate them as to how they shall live. It's pretty published in history books that native american tribes were forced from their land onto reservations set aside for the respected tribes, as if that wasn't bad enough, what hasn't been published so much in history books is the reprogramming and culture defragmenting that went on with indian youth in these indian boarding schools. Indian boarding schools were founded on the principle that Native Americans were the equals of European-Americans, and that Native American children immersed in mainstream Euro-American culture would learn skills to advance in society. In this period, many Anglo-Americans believed mistakenly that Native Americans were a vanishing race whose only hope for survival was rapid cultural transformation. There have been mixed emotions and narratives about the long term effects these schools had on Native american culture and the family life morale thereafter. I wanted to touch on one particular school "The Carlisle Industrial school for indians" this school is located about 3 hours from were I live, but more importantly because My great Grandmother attended this school. Growing up I heard stories of her attending Carlisle during the same time as the legendary native american athlete Jim Thorpe, which sounded really cool. The other stories that she passed down of her attending carlisle are haunting, she told stories of having their tongues pricked with needles if they were caught speaking in their native tribal languages, and being forced into this new way of life and eradicating their culture by cutting off all their hair men and woman, and being forced to dress in non native clothing. Elder chiefs from all Indian tribes sent their children to these schools not knowing the outcome, and being tricked and or confused into thinking that this would help prepare them for the NEW AMERICA! Thousands of native children were sent from reservations across America away from there families to the Carlisle school to in one way or another to be broken of their way of living, and forced into re-educating them to be a part of this new way of living while stripping them of their identity on their own land. There are alot of things to be proud of as Americans, but this is certainly not one of them. It should also lead by example of how powerful our government is and the parallels of evil actions our own government has taken on its own people, yet we criticize other nations and past world leaders for doing the same thing! My father taught me to Love my country and never trust my Gov't. this makes his words very easy to inherit! Keep your mind open and your spirit free, and don't you dare tread on me!