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Native American Boarding Schools: PBS Video Series - Unspoken


Unspoken: America's Native American Boarding Schools

Part 1 - Origin Of The Boarding Schools | Assimilation Versus Extermination

The history of the United States of America is like a coin.  For every story written of the successes and growth of the country, there is the other side — where people are subjected to the consequences of decisions over which they had no control. During the westward expansion of the U.S., the indigenous people were those people, whose treatment ranged from being dismissed to outright extermination.

Somewhere along that spectrum is the story of American Indian Boarding Schools.  One school in particular, the Santa Fe Indian School, today serves as a microcosm of American Indian education and the history of tribal culture since before the Civil War.  The school also shows a potential path forward from a troubled past.

Part 2 - Reforms In The Civil Rights Era

The next step forward in reforms came during the 1960s and 1970s, a period of American history marked by civil rights movements initiated by diverse groups of Americans.   

American Indians were active in bringing awareness to their issues and gaining political capital. Political activism came in the form of the occupation of Alcatraz in 1969 and Wounded Knee in 1973.  The American Indian Movement,  a social justice group for Native Americans, was formed in 1968, the same year that Congress passed the Indian Civil Rights Act.