Lieutenant Richard Henry Pratt wanted the government to fund a school that would require Native children to move away from their homes to attend a school far away. The first one, Carlisle Indian School was opened in 1879.
By 1902 the Bureau of Indian Affairs authorized 25 federally funded off-reservation schools, created by in 15 states and territories, with a total enrollment of over 6,000 students.
Soon the Carlisle curriculum became the base for over 300 schools across the United States.
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"If we were not finished [scrubbing the dining room floors] when the 8 a.m. whistle sounded, the dining room matron would go around strapping us while we were still on our hands and knees."
Anna Moore, Phoenix Indian School
In Indian civilization I am a Baptist, because I believe in immersing the Indian in our civilization and when we get them under, holding them there until they are thoroughly soaked.
Richard Henry Pratt, founder of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School,
They tell us not to speak in the Navajo language because you’re going to school. You’re supposed to only speak English. And that was true. They did practice that and we got punished if you was caught speaking Navajo.
John Brown Jr., Navajo Code Talker
"A great general has said that the only good Indian is a dead one. In a sense, I agree with the sentiment, but only in this: that all the Indian there is in the race should be dead."
Richard Henry Pratt, founder of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School
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