American Indian Boarding Schools Haunt Many - Audio (NPR)
The Indian boarding school movement began in the post Civil War era
For the government, it was a possible solution to the so-called Indian problem. For the tens of thousands of Indians who went to boarding schools, it’s largely remembered as a time of abuse and desecration of culture.
The government still operates a handful of off-reservation boarding schools, but funding is in decline. Now many American Indians are fighting to keep the schools open.
'Kill the Indian … Save the Man'
An Army officer, Richard Pratt, founded the first of these schools. He based it on an education program he had developed in an Indian prison. He described his philosophy in a speech he gave in 1892.
"A great general has said that the only good Indian is a dead one, and that high sanction of his destruction has been an enormous factor in promoting Indian massacres. In a sense, I agree with the sentiment, but only in this: that all the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him, and save the man."