What are Indian boarding schools?
Indian boarding schools were an idea originally though of by reformers. It was an idea for a school in which Native American children would be taken, where celebrating their culture was punished. The reformers eventually persuaded Congress who went through with the idea of creating these schools. The first one was founded by Captain Richard Henry Pratt in Pennsylvania in 1887. It was called the Carlisle Indian School. They soon started sprouting up all over the country.
Why were they created?
They were created to essentially strip Native Americans of their culture. It was believed by the general public that by punishing the children for celebrating their culture, the Native Americans could "change." Their slogan was "kill the Indian, save the man." In these boarding schools Native American children were taken and forced to give up all parts of their culture and religion. If they were found doing anything related to their culture they would be punished. The schools did not even allow them to speak with their families besides scheduled meeting times. Students were kept here for 8 or 9 months. The schools even took before and after photos. The before photo is of the children in their traditional Native American attire, and the after photo would be one of them in a Victorian style outfit.