The boarding school experience for Indian children began in 1860 when the Bureau of Indian Affairs established the first Indian boarding school, designed to “assimilate” Indian tribes into the mainstream of the “American way of life.” Native Americans would be taught the important components of American culture, including an understanding of private property, material wealth and monogamous nuclear families. By “civilizing” Native Americans, reformers thought they were eliminating the problem of the tribes, without having to eradicate the Native Americans. In this discussion, explain the boarding school system as you understand it. Was it successful in “assimilating” Native Americans? What were the unintended consequences? What is the modern legacy of these boarding schools?
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