Term Indian Residential School Survivors
Code YX-3500
Definition Native Americans who, as children, were removed from their homes and sent to American Indian boarding schools, also known more recently as Indian residential schools, which were established in the United States during the early 19th through the mid-20th centuries with a primary objective of "civilizing" or assimilating Native American children and youth into Euro-American culture. In the process, the schools denigrated Native American culture and made children give up their languages and religion. The schools were first established by Christian missionaries of various denominations, who often were approved by the federal government to start both missions and schools on reservations, especially in the lightly populated areas of the West. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) also founded additional off-reservation boarding schools based on the assimilation model and sometimes drew children from a variety of tribes. In addition, religious orders established off-reservation schools. Some schools forced removal of indigenous cultural signifiers, cutting the children's hair, having them wear American-style uniforms, forbidding them to speak their indigenous languages, and replacing their tribal names with English-language names (saints names under some religious orders) for use at the schools, as part of assimilation and to "Christianize" them. The schools were usually harsh and sometimes deadly, especially for younger children who had been forcibly separated from their families and forced to abandon their Native American identities and cultures. Investigations of the later twentieth century have revealed many documented cases of sexual, manual, physical and mental abuse occurring mostly in church-run schools.
Created 6/11/19
Changed 9/21/21
Use References American Indian Boarding School Survivors
See Also References Children Abused in Residential/Institutional Settings (YX-0500.1400)
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Bibliographic References "American Indian boarding schools", Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Indian_boarding_schools

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