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Boarding School Blues: Revisiting American Indian Educational Experiences


reviewed by Jon Allan Reyhner — February 19, 2007

coverTitle: Boarding School Blues: Revisiting American Indian Educational Experiences
Author(s): Clifford E. Trafzer, Jean A. Keller, and Lorene Sisquoc (Eds.)
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln
ISBN: 0803294638 , Pages: 274, Year: 2006
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Many earlier writers on government and missionary run boarding schools for American Indians extolled them for helping civilize, Christianize, and save from extinction a “vanishing race.” More recently, writers have vilified these same boarding schools as instruments of cultural genocide. Boarding School Blues represents a move to a more balanced look at how Indian children had diverse experiences in schools that varied from place to place and over time. In their introduction, the editors write: “The American Indian boarding school experience is layered with deep meaning that cannot be understood simply by framing the schools, administrators, and teachers as good or evil” (p. 27). On one hand, a fair number of students ran away from boarding schools, sometimes repeatedly, and were often punished severely. On the other hand, many students valued the education they received, and when they had children of their own, they voluntarily sent them to these schools. Bitter... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: February 19, 2007
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 13463, Date Accessed: 12/12/2017 1:00:37 PM

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About the Author
  • Jon Reyhner
    Northern Arizona University
    E-mail Author
    JON REYHNER is Professor of Bilingual Multicultural Education at Northern Arizona University. He is editor to Teaching American Indian Students (1992) and co-author of American Indian Education: A History (2004), both published by the University of Oklahoma Press. He maintains an American Indian Education web site and has a special interest in Indigenous language revitalization efforts. His most recent book is Education and Language Restoration in Chelsea House’s series on contemporary Native American issues.
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