Boarding Schools were created by the United States Government and Christian missionaries to “Kill the Indian, and Save the Man”. These schools took Native American children from their homes and family and stripped them of their cultural identity. Traditional teachings and culture were replaced with mainstream American culture. Today we can still see the byproducts of the Boarding School Era in Indigenous communities.
Native Americans are still struggling to learn in education systems created without their best interests in mind, and languages are going to sleep as more and more 1st language speakers are lost. This free, virtual panel discussion and film screening via Zoom will address the traumatic past of Indian Boarding Schools, how tribes are dealing with the legacy of this era and how they continue to prosper despite the losses from Boarding Schools.
The featured documentary, “Our Spirits Don’t Speak English: Indian Boarding School” examines the educational system that was designed to destroy Indigenous culture and tribal unity. Introduced by August Schellenberg, the film provides a candid look at the Indian Boarding School system starting in 1879 through the 1960s combining personal interviews with historical background. The philosophy of the Indian Boarding School system was based on the concept of “kill the Indian and save the man”, as stated by Captain Richard Henry Pratt who was the founder of the Carlisle Indian School. The film combines a number of powerful personal interviews, including Andrew Windy Boy, along with historical narration to reflect the harrowing, and often untold, experience of so many. Grace Thorpe, daughter of Jim Thorpe, the famous Sauk and Fox athlete, closes the film with her last public interview.
The film will be shown following the 45-minute panel discussion.
In partnership with The University of Tulsa Institute of Trauma, Adversity and Injustice (TITAN) and Circle Cinema.
Image: From the Gilcrease Collection, “Indian School girls at Ponca Agency.” http://bit.ly/3nBTsHE