Two of UNP authors, Brenda Child and Tsianina Lomawaima, recently published opinion pieces on boarding schools in the Washington Post .
In Child’s essay, she discusses how United States boarding schools for Indians were used by the government as a way to acquire Indian lands.
Perhaps this will lead them to confront another buried truth, about the loss the boarding schools were designed to abet: the largest dispossession of land in American history.-Brenda Child
Lomawaima’s essay discusses how the public’s response to the truths that are being uncovered about boarding schools need to be met with accountability not pity.
Accountability — not pity — must guide U.S. reckoning with the legacies of boarding schools. Anything short of that will be a continued degradation of the Native children stolen, the survivors, the Native nations fighting to determine their futures and the democratic ideal to which the United States has so long aspired.-Tsianina Lomawaima
Read their books for more information on the history of boarding schools in the United States:
Boarding School Seasons by Brenda J. Child
Boarding School Seasons offers a revealing look at the strong emotional history of Indian boarding school experiences in the first half of the twentieth century. At the heart of this book are the hundreds of letters written by parents, children, and school officials at Haskell Institute in Kansas and the Flandreau School in South Dakota. These revealing letters show how profoundly entire families were affected by their experiences.
They Called It Prairie Light by K. Tsianina Lomawaima
Lomawaima allows the Chilocco students to speak for themselves. In recollections juxtaposed against the official records of racist ideology and repressive practice, students from the 1920s and 1930s recall their loneliness and demoralization but also remember with pride the love and mutual support binding them together—the forging of new pan-Indian identities and reinforcement of old tribal ones.