New Perspectives on THE WEST
The Program People Places Events Resources Lesson Plans Quiz
Message From Sponsor
The People
Empire Upon The Trails
Speck of the Future
Death Runs Riot
The Grandest Enterprise Under God
Fight No More Forever
The Geography of Hope
One Sky Above Us
The Geography of Hope


The Exodusters

Rain Follows the Plow

A Hard Time I Have


The Romance of My Life

The Barrio

I Must Lose Myself Again

Friends of the Indian

Medicine Flower

Hell Without the Heat

Gunpowder Entertainment

Final Vision

THE WEST The Geography of Hope

Friends of the Indian

[Navajo Tom Torlino entering and enrolled at Carlisle Indian School]

Let us forget once and forever the word "Indian"and all that it has signified in the past, and remember only that we are dealing with so many children of a common Father.
Charles C. Painter

Containment had been the goal of federal Indian policy throughout much of the nineteenth century, but in 1883 a group of white church leaders, social reformers and government officials met at Mohonk Lake, New York, to chart a new, more humane course of action. Calling themselves “Friends of the Indian,” they proposed to remold Native Americans into mainstream citizens and to begin this process by re-educating the youngest generation at special Indian schools.

Mildred Cleghorn, Southern ApacheThey were trying to make white people out of 'em. When they took the children away from the mothers, they just knew they'd never see their children no more.... they didn't think about school. They were thinkin', they didn't know whether or not they really went to school, or were going to be killed.
Mildred Cleghorn

Lakota boys after enrollment at CarlisleThe United States Indian Training and Industrial School at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, was the model for this re-education movement, a military-style institution which housed students as young as five years old brought from half a continent away. Many Indians -- including even Sitting Bull -- sent their children to such schools willingly, believing they would help prepare the next generation to live successfully in the white man's world. Unfortunately, this was rarely the case.

Still, by century's end, there would be 24 off-reservation boarding schools like Carlisle, plus 81 boarding schools and 147 day schools on the reservations themselves, all striving to eradicate their students' tribal identities and educate them "not as Indians, but as Americans."

Mary ArmstrongWhen I went to Concho... we all spoke our dialect and we were told not to talk it, speak English.... our Matron [was] a big, husky white lady, her name was Garrett, and [one day] somebody said, Mother Garrett's coming! Well, we all tried to keep quiet, but she heard me. Mother Garrett jerked me by the collar of my dress and dragged me into the bathroom.

That lye soap was about that big and about that high. She broke off a piece and she washed my mouth with lye soap. She said, Don't you ever speak Indian again or I'm going to wash your mouth again. And my tongue got blistered from that lye.
Mary Armstrong

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