Jim Kent: Boarding schools sought to stamp out Indian cultures

Note: The Rapid City Journal refuse to run the column linked below, according to author Jim Kent. The paper's editorial board said the column “would further divide Native Americans and whites without justification," Kent wrote in a post on Facebook.

"For most people, memories of their first days of school are often blurred images kept alive by stories passed on over the years at family gatherings.

But for tens-of-thousands of Native Americans, memories of their early school days are nightmares they’ve relived throughout their lives.

This is, of course, courtesy of Christian missionaries and the federal government who both felt “something” needed to be done about “the Indian problem”. Yes, it does smack reminiscent of Germany’s Little Corporal.

In the case of the Christians, the goal was to “save the pagan savages” and bring them into the fold of Jesus. A noble calling, I suppose, but I’ve always questioned the mindset of beating religion into someone. Automatically brings that “what would Jesus do” question right into the equation.

From the federal government side, the goal was to completely eradicate all traces of Native American cultures - something already attempted for centuries, and quite successfully from a genocidal point of view.

The problem was there were still too many of those “redskins” around – and they had all these kids to keep the cultures going."

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Jim Kent: Boarding schools left mark for life (Last Real Indians 10/1)

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