Indian Boarding Schools 1890

To encourage assimilation into white society, in 1890 the Government began requiring Native American children to attend schools that were often hundreds of miles away from reservations. Children were separated from their traditional religion and culture so that they could be more easily taught English and Christianity. Many Native American parents did not want to send their children to boarding school, but Government officials used coercion, such as withholding of rations, to force them to send their children.

The education and care that children received at Indian schools were often substandard and did little to prepare them for joining Euro-American society. In addition, when children returned home they often had difficulty adjusting to life on the reservation.