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The Ahfachkee Day School


by Harry A. Kersey, Jr. - 1970

Professor Kersey reports on one of the more positive projects of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. As a faculty member at Florida Atlantic University, he has firsthand knowledge of the Ahfachkee Day School, an elementary school serving Seminole Indian children.

The current periodical literature abounds with exposes on the short­comings of Indian education in the United States. As a rule, the writers are content to parade the sensational statistics on Indian illiteracy, unem­ployment, alcoholism, and suicide, while vaguely attributing them at least in part to the failure of educa­tional programs. Practically all reports condemn past and present federal policies regarding Indian education, and especially do they excoriate the Bureau of Indian Affairs which runs day 'and boarding schools for Indian youths. While there is much to be desired in the present federal system of Indian schools, the BIA is acute­ly aware of the need for reform and has initiated programs to improve the educational experiences in the schools under its supervision. However, rare­ly does one see a report on such positive efforts to rectify the situa­tion; even the U.S. Senate Subcom­mittee on Indian Education seems to have dwelt primarily upon the nega­tive aspects of this question in its investigations. Nevertheless, these projects taken collectively could have the net effect of changing the quality and significance of Indian ed­ucation over the next few years.

Throughout the last school year a team of educators from Florida At­lantic University has been working with a small federal day school which serves Seminole Indian chil­dren living in a remote section of the Everglades. The focus of this pilot project has been to assess the impact of community life on the education­al development of the children. Si­multaneous investigations were car­ried out in the areas of intellectual and achievement testing, speech and hearing screening, parental inter­views, and home visitation. The data gathered will be used in planning programs of remedial and compensa­tory education. These preliminary investigations have been supported by BIA funds and received the full approval of the tribal leaders. In the initial study presented here the day school is portrayed as the basic ac-culturational force in the life of Seminole children as they prepare to leave the poverty and isolation of the reservation and enter the white

man's school.

The Reservation Setting

The   Big   Cypress   Seminole   Indian Reservation sits in solitary isolation on the edge of the Florida Everglades. Even today this 42,000 acre preserve of marginal swamp land and pine barrens can be reached by only two routes. From the south one must take Alligator Alley, a toll road that runs from Fort Lauderdale on the east coast to Naples on the Gulf of Mexico. At the fifty-mile bridge the paved road is left behind and the trail leads north over a set of narrow ruts running along the bank of a wide, deep canal for twelve miles. At night or during the rainy season this can be a perilous journey for the uninitiated. From the north, a blacktop road links the reservation with the town of Clewiston, some forty-five miles away. This all-weather thoroughfare was not com­pleted until the 1950's, and it is well within memory of most young Seminoles that they were virtually ma­rooned during the rainy season. It was not unusual for the trip to Immokalee, the nearest hamlet where they were transported by gov­ernment truck to buy groceries, to take eight hours. Needless to say, this inaccessibility kept Seminole con­tacts with the outside world to a mini­mum until very recently.

Because of their physical isolation and traditional resistance to accept­ing new ways, the approximately three hundred Indians who live on Big Cypress are the least acculturated members of their tribe. The other Seminoles occupy a large rural res­ervation north of Lake Okeechobee, and a small urban reservation on the outskirts of Fort Lauderdale; both of these sites present unique adapta­tions to the surrounding dominant culture which are rightfully the sub­ject of other studies and cannot be treated here. Suffice it to say that neither of the other reservations has been faced with such overwhelming problems of transportation and com­munication to impede their cultural contacts.

Occupational Pattern

The occupational pattern of the Seminole has also militated against his acculturation. Historically, the people of the Big Cypress region were able to subsist off the land al­most exclusively; they cultivated small garden plots around their camps, made their own bread and drink, raised a few pigs and cows, and supplemented these with fish and game that abounded in the area. The cash which they needed to purchase pots, guns, cloth, and other trade goods was obtained by selling furs and hides to traders in Miami, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and other settlements. By the early decades of this century, however, the southern part of Florida was being settled rap­idly. The ecology of the Ever­glades began to change, and the Seminole's range became ever more con­stricted until at last reservations were established in the 1930's to as­sure them land of their own. This signaled the end of their seminomadic existence and confined them to a prescribed area that was incapable of sustaining their old way of life. Painfully the tribe turned from a hunting economy to a wage-work economy. Today a few families still maintain garden plots, but the day of independent subsistence is long past. The Seminole is as dependent upon the grocery store and service station as his white counterpart, and must obtain the economic wherewithal to avail himself of their goods and ser­vices.

As large farms and ranches en­croached on the lands abutting their reservation, the Indians have turned to them more and more as a source of employment. About 80 percent of the Big Cypress people engage in some form of agricultural work. Some ride fence year-round for cat­tle concerns, while others are active only during the winter vegetable season when there is work for every­one who wants it. Some families have small cattle herds which they graze and market, but their income from this must be supplemented by out­side employment. A few men are em­ployed by the Bureau of Indian Af­fairs on road crews or by the tribe in other capacities on the reserva­tion. Women often engage in agricul­tural field work during the season, but few are employed off the reser­vation in any other capacity. A num­ber of women are connected with educational programs such as Head Start or the federal day school, while others produce native handicrafts in their homes for sale in urban outlets. In none of these roles do the Seminoles come into prolonged contact with members of the dominant cul­ture. The social and economic life of these people is centered almost ex­clusively on the reservation and its immediate environs.

Chickee versus Split-level

One clue to the acculturational level of the Big Cypress people is found in their residences. Although there have recently been concerted efforts by the BIA and the tribe to move families into substantial houses, and indeed there are fifteen concrete block homes in the settlement, a third of the population still live in the traditional thatched roof "chickee" that has served the tribe for over a century. The remaining families oc­cupy a wide variety of wooden struc­tures, most of which can best be de­scribed as submarginal. Electric lines were run on to the reservation in the 1950's, and practically every dwelling has an electrical outlet; however, many still depend on hand pumps for water, and indoor sanitary facilities are a rarity. While Big Cypress people have adopted many of the material aspects of our culture, most of the families living in the new homes do not differ markedly in their life style from those who continue to occupy chickees.

The structure of family life on this reservation presents a picture of so­cial transformation which has also re­tarded acculturation. The traditional Seminole family was matrilocal, i.e., the husband lived in the camp of his wife's family, and the lineage of their children was reckoned from the mother's clan. In the life of an In­dian youngster his uncle, aunt, and other blood relatives of his mother were far more significant than the biological father. Furthermore, all members of the extended household group that lived in the mother's camp exerted social control over the child and guided his induction into the tribal way of life. With the adoption of Christianity and the movement away from Chickee camps into small nuclear household units, this traditional pattern of discipline and guidance has broken down. In an Indian household today the father rarely takes a hand in disciplining the children, and the mother is usu­ally ineffectual in that role alone. The absence of additional close relatives in the household, with the pos­sible exception of an aged grandpar­ent, removes that source of support which the mother might rely upon. This situation is further complicated by the large number of households on Big Cypress that are totally de­void of adult males. There are many children from such homes who ap­parently receive no direction from anyone in the community and are left to their own devices. Nothing has replaced the old tribal law ad­ministered by a council of elders which served as the ethical and moral arbiter of tribal life. The result has been a gradual erosion of tribal values as a stable core against which to evaluate and select those aspects of our culture which are to be accepted. Thus the process of acculturation, particularly in the sphere of social be­havior, has been random and diffuse.

There is very little focus for com­munity life on the reservation. The homes are widely scattered, and there is a constricted sense of unity among the residents. Even if the people de­sired to mingle, there are relatively few places or opportunities to do so. A service station and grocery store, plus a small canteen, provide the only locations where neighbors can meet casually—and these are closed early in the evening. A building which osten­sibly serves as a community center is infrequently used. There is a lighted recreation area featuring a basketball court, playing field, and playground equipment for children; this area is usually well occupied by young adults and children until the lights are turned off around midnight. Ironically, the largest and most modern facility on the reservation, the government day school, is not used by the community after school hours; with proper, supervision it could serve as an excellent commu­nity center if the people desired to use it as such. As it is, most residents come to the school grounds only when they attend the public health clinic which is held there twice each week.

What little organized social life there is on Big Cypress revolves around the two churches. About two-thirds of the people attend the First Baptist Church, while the rest are members of the Independent Baptist Church across the road. In ad­dition to the regular Sunday services and midweek prayer meetings, the churches provide youth and adult groups and a number of revival meet­ings each year.

Since 1957, the Seminole Tribe of Florida has been organized under a charter from the U. S. Department of Interior. There is an elected chair­man and tribal council, as well as a president and board of directors to run the tribal business enterprises. Each of the three reservations has equal representation on these govern­ing bodies; however, the people from the Big Cypress reservation appear to be alienated from the political pow­er structure of the tribe, and show lit­tle inclination to participate in educa­tional programs sponsored by BIA and tribal officials. As might be expected, this attitude has produced some severe problems in educating the children from Big Cypress.

The Educational Climate

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has operated an elementary day school on the Big Cypress Reservation since 1940. The original school was a thatched roof hut; this was soon re­placed by a frame structure that was overcrowded with an enrollment which often reached twenty students. The resident teachers were forced to conduct a minimal program for children who came with little readi­ness for formal education. Atten­dance was erratic and discipline dif­ficult to maintain. The isolation of the school made it less than an at­tractive assignment for BIA person­nel, and teacher turnover was fre­quent. In 1966, the old school was re­placed with a modern facility that is air-conditioned, has two well-equipped classrooms, teacher's office, instructional TV, a kitchen and serv­ing facility, as well as shower rooms. The new building was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies featur­ing an address by the U.S. Commis­sioner of Indian Affairs, and was named Ahfachkee, which means "happy" in the Mikasuki language spoken by the people of Big Cypress. A four-member local school board was formed, and the tribal chairman declared: "We have high hopes for the general social better­ment of the residents of the Big Cypress Reservation and specifically for the education of the Big Cypress children as a direct result of the new day school."1

At the time of this study the school consisted of four grades taught by a husband-wife team, both of whom are well-qualified teachers —but not specifically trained to work with Indians or other deprived chil­dren. They were assisted by a bi­lingual Indian teacher-aide who act­ed as an interpreter for the beginning students who came with minimum

English fluency. In 1966, a Head Start center was established on the reservation to prepare students for the transition from Chickee to class­room; however, due to a lack of trained personnel to run the center, it has failed in this vital task, and most children arrive at the school with minimal educational skills. Be­cause of this the teacher who would normally teach the first and second grades has restructured her program to encompass many activities that would normally be found in a kin­dergarten. There were twenty chil­dren in the "beginners" classroom with one teacher and the teacher aide; this left her husband with twen­ty students ranging in age from 8 to 13 in grades two through four.

The enrollment at Ahfachkee throughout most of the 1968-69 school year was forty pupils: twenty-seven boys and thirteen girls. Surprisingly, the attendance aver­aged 93 percent for a 180 day school year.2  There are a number of reasons for this consistent attendance. Perhaps most important is the fact that the school provides both breakfast and lunch for the children. For many of them it is the sole source of balanced nourishment during the day. An­other factor which may account for the regular attendance is the school's clean, well-lighted rooms, abundant creative and recreational materials, television set, indoor plumbing, and sympathetic staff. A third element contributing to high attendance is the practice of the teachers in visiting the homes of those children who are ab­sent each day to see if they cannot be induced to come to school. Often the teacher will bring in all of his absen­tees; other days none.

Difficult Transition

The environment which the school has endeavored to create for the chil­dren is predicated on the obvious fact that their emotional and physi­cal needs have to be met before there can be any educational progress. To the extent that the school has achieved this goal, it has set a prece­dent that a larger, more imperson-alized institution like the pub­lic school cannot match. Thus when the Seminole children who are used to a very informal personal relation­ship with teachers and peers are transferred into a public school set­ting, they have great difficulty in ad­justing to their new role expecta­tions. Many never do adjust and quietly leave before completing jun­ior high school. In 1968, the BIA re­ported a 67 percent dropout rate among Seminole students.3

When Big Cypress children enter the fifth grade they are required to board a county school bus which originates on the reservation at 7 a.m., then spend the better part of an hour and a half traveling the for­ty-five miles to Clewiston. This round trip of ninety miles each day is enough to dishearten any child, es­pecially if he has risen before dawn, probably has not eaten breakfast, and isn't too enthusiastic about going in­to the hostile environment of the public school. The Indian students have not been fully assimilated into the life of the public schools; most remain shy and withdrawn around other children and rarely participate in after-school activities because of the bus ride. Most of the Indian chil­dren are not prepared to compete in school and generally perform several grade levels below their classmates. Under such conditions it is under­standable that so very few Seminole youths complete their education. There was not a high school grad­uate from Big Cypress until 1963, and only eleven have graduated from public or federal boarding schools since that time.4 As a result, the over­all educational level of the Big Cy­press people is much lower than on the other reservations.

Role of the Teacher

The young teachers at Big Cypress appear to have performed admirably under adverse conditions. Their in­ability to speak the native tongue (an unwritten language which very few non-Indians have mastered) has pre­sented some obvious difficulties in communicating with both students and parents. Practically every Sem­inole speaks or at least understands enough English to communicate; still there are nuances of language that impede full communication, particu­larly with the less well-educated par­ents. The instruction in the day school is carried on entirely in En­glish, and the older children have a good language facility. The bilingual aide translates for the younger chil­dren to smooth their early days in the classroom, but they soon develop a working vocabulary. Even so, one can well appreciate the position of a teacher who may be excluded from the classroom discourse whenever the students choose to revert to their na­tive tongue.

The teachers are not ostracized or harassed; neither are they whole­heartedly accepted into the life of the community. Only a few Seminoles have visited in their home adjacent to the school, and they have never been invited to an Indian home. For the most part, the people appear uninterested in the school and the teachers. With humor the teachers have related an incident which vividly underscores the depth of this parental attitude toward education. In the late fall the school held a Parent Day which was very well attended. The second Parent Day six weeks later drew exactly two people. In reflect­ing upon possible causes for this complete turnabout, the teach­ers found that the first open house had coincided with clinic day; many parents were already present for medical aid so they just stayed for punch and cookies at the school next door. The second meeting did not fall on clinic day, and even parents who lived within hailing distance of the school did not turn out. Such a response may well stem from past years of BIA neglect and un­concerned teachers who "turned off" the Indian parents. In any case the greatest challenge confronting the new teachers is to establish rap­port with the community and direct­ly involve parents in the planning and operation of the school program.

Not surprisingly, the most dis­couraging aspect of their first year at Big Cypress, according to the teachers, was the lack of parental support for their efforts. The day-to­day gains of the children are tan­gible, and both feel that they are making significant progress in the classroom; yet the children go home each evening to situations which of­fer little reinforcement for the edu­cational and social activities of the day. With few exceptions the parents speak the Mikasuki language at home, and there is little opportunity for the children to develop a larger English vocabulary. Magazines and newspa­pers are a rarity in Seminole homes, so there is little practice in reading unless materials are taken from school. Fortunately, all but the poor­est homes have either radio or tele­vision sets, and what verbal stimula­tion the children receive comes from this source. It is the atypical Seminole parent who provides educational toys or materials for his child.

There is little discipline in the lives of children on this reservation and this, too, has an adverse effect on their educational progress. Many par­ents exert no influence on their chil­dren to attend school, study after school, eat at regular times, or even to be home by a certain hour. It is not unusual to see first and second graders playing unsupervised as late as ten or eleven o'clock in the eve­ning on school nights. Often these same children fall asleep in class the following day from sheer fatigue. Their diet, sleeping arrangements, and other aspects of the children's home life also have a debilitating ef­fect on their school work. All of these elements are beyond the con­trol of the teachers, but they strive to compensate as best they can dur­ing the school day.

A Typical School Day

The typical school day at Ahfachkee would horrify most teachers and ad­ministrators who have a penchant for orderliness. Rarely does the educa­tional program conform to a rigid schedule; even the time for opening exercises is flexible. Every aspect of the school day is a response to the physical and psychological needs of Indian children while preparing them for the ultimate transition to public school. The account presented here is a reconstruction based upon many months of observing the school in operation, and while each event did not take place daily to be sure, they did occur with enough frequency to be considered a part of the school routine.

Morning comes early to the chil­dren of Big Cypress. The older stu­dents who must catch the bus for Clewiston are served breakfast at the day school at 6:30 a.m.—if they come. By seven o'clock the first elemen­tary schoolers have arrived for their meal of juice, cheese toast, bacon, cereal, and milk. This is eaten from trays taken into the classroom while watching a morning kiddie show from Miami on the television receiv­er. The teachers have estimated, per­haps pessimistically, that attendance would be halved were it not for the dual attraction of the meal and tele­vision. Following breakfast, the chil­dren are made to brush their teeth (each has his own brush and paste at school, an accommodation that is lacking in many homes), then sent out to play while the classroom is cleaned and put in order for the day's activities.

Shortly after the children go out to play, the teachers and teacher aide arrive to plan the day's pro­gram. When they feel that it is time to begin, usually after most of the children have returned to the build­ing of their own volition, the bell is rung to call in the remainder of the students. Following the pledge of allegiance, the aide checks roll and reports absentees to the teachers. At this time the male teacher takes a government vehicle and goes to round up those absentees whom he suspects are not missing due to illness or other legitimate cause. At many homes he finds that the child has overslept because there was no one there to wake him; other times he has found a youngster playing along the roadside on the way to school; but in most cases the child is absent simply because he has not been sent to school by a parent. One boy living within sight of the school attended less than half the time be­cause his mother saw no reason to1 send him, and generally refused to let him return with the teacher. The Seminoles are not subject to state compulsory attendance laws as they live on federal land; the only pressure exerted on parents to send their children to school is commun­ity opinion and the urging of tribal and BIA officials. The teacher has no authority to make the children attend school, so he depends upon reasoning with the recalcitrant par­ents or cajoling them into letting the children attend. In most cases this extra effort on his part has kept the child in school and the average at­tendance figure high.

When the staff is sure that all the children who will be coming that day are present, the instruction be­gins. Sometimes this is as late as nine o'clock, for it often takes that long to get organized after the "truant of­ficer" returns with his haul of ab­sentees. They along with the other students are given a cursory exam­ination for personal hygiene, groom­ing, and apparent illness such as coughing or open sores; problem cases are sent to the public health clinic on Wednesday and Friday mornings. At the beginning of the school year thirty of the forty students suffered from hookworm, while many needed dental work. To guard against further infes­tations of hookworm during the school year, the children are required to wear shoes; if they come to school with­out any, a pair is provided from a supply of clothing kept on hand for such purposes—and often replenished out of the teacher's pocket. Actually, no child should ever be forced to miss school because of a lack of ade­quate clothing, as BIA welfare funds are available for such purposes. Of­ten, however, the children attend in ragged clothes that may have been new at the beginning of the year but are about to disintegrate from a com­bination of constant hard use and little care. In many Indian dwellings there are neither closets nor chests of drawers, so clothing and other personal belongings are kept in open cardboard cartons on the floor. Be­cause most Indian children are un­kempt through no fault of their own, personal hygiene and groom­ing are emphasized throughout the school day; the children wash before meals, brush their teeth after meals, are taught table manners and the use of silverware, napkins, etc. Perhaps the most graphic aspect of this health care is the weekly bath session at the school. Because so few Big Cypress homes have indoor plumbing, many children seldom bathe, so one day each week every child receives a shower. The male teacher takes the boys two at a time while the aide does likewise for the girls; haircuts, shampooing, and further physical inspection are stan­dard procedure during these sessions.

Throughout the remainder of the week classes run uninterrupted until noon, except for a brief juice break and recess period. The curriculum is comprised of standard elementary school subjects. Following the mid­day meal, there is another half hour recess period. Classes resume from one to three o'clock for the upper grades, while the beginners are tak­en home in a government vehicle at two-thirty. The main purpose of this delivery service is simply to as­sure that the very young children actually get home. In the past there have been cases of children wander­ing off and not being located until late at night, or being attacked by older children. Even with this portal-to-portal transportation, many young­sters return to homes where there are no adults to supervise them until the parents return from work. The same situation exists for many of the older children as well, so they remain around the school and play­ground until late in the afternoon. Thus from 7 a.m. until about 5 p.m. the Ahfachkee Day School is the fo­cal point in the life of most young­sters on the Big Cypress Reservation. As such it has assumed the role of the prime acculturational agency in preparing these children to cope with the dominant culture outside the res­ervation.

From this account it is apparent that the day school has concentrated on the personal services required by the children, often to the detriment of the academic program. Yet with­out these vital services there is little likelihood that many children would even be in school, much less be re­ceptive to learning. A vicious cycle is thereby perpetuated: the more time devoted to personal services, the less there is for instruction. More­over, there is some question about the effectiveness of the methods and materials employed at the day school. The curriculum is middle-class oriented and does not have a great deal of relevance for Seminole children. The reading materials pro­vide a good example of this; many books feature the typical suburban family or are racially integrated texts about city life. Even those readers featuring stories about Indians are foreign to them, for the Seminole identifies no more with a Navajo in the Southwest than he does with suburbanites or Negro children in the city. They have little interest in reading, and their language arts skills are poor; as a result, they often score several levels below grade on standardized achievement tests when they enter public schools.

There are numerous special educa­tional techniques which can be used with deprived children; however, the day school teachers, while dedicated to their work, are products of con­ventional teacher education, and by their own admission have no training in special education. To further com­plicate the picture, the teachers had no valid information on their charges at the beginning of the school year. There had never been a formal testing program at Ahfachkee, so the teachers were forced to make their own assessment of student abilities; cumulative rec­ords carried little useful information, and some children didn't even know what grade they were in the year before. The teachers would wel­come professional assistance in re­structuring the curriculum to make it more responsive to the needs of Indian children.

Future of the Day School

Despite the shortcomings of the Ah­fachkee Day School, it will continue to operate, and its program will probably be expanded to include both a kindergarten and two addi­tional grades. This course is dictated by the isolation of the reservation and the lack -of success which Semi­nole children have shown in the pub­lic schools. Future programs will concentrate on improving the qual­ity of the educational program at Big Cypress. However, there is still a division of opinion among local educators, BIA officials, and tribal members over the best plan of ac­tion. Some want the children placed in public schools from the beginning and phase out the all-Indian school; others favor beefing up the program at the day school and sending a more mature, better prepared student to off-reservation schooling; a third group feels that the Seminole should be left alone and not be made to go to school at all.

Advocates of the third position, mainly non-Indians, would have it appear that this is just another in­stance of government interference in the lives of people, in this case forc­ing education on a people who never wanted or needed it in their way of life. Many critics have, in fact, asked: "Why not leave them alone to con­tinue their way of life?" While the life style of the people on Big Cypress is still in a fairly pristine state, it has changed rapidly in the last decade, and this process will con­tinue to accelerate. Whether the Seminole parent appreciates the need for his child to receive an education or not, the fact remains that educa­tion is the key to their survival in a world that is rapidly absorbing their formerly secluded domain. More and more the Indian will be forced to compete in a society where he is not regarded as an interesting anachronism, and will be expected to make his own way. The day will inevitably come when the reserva­tion is no longer a safe haven; when the Everglades are consumed by farms, ranches, tourist parks, and crisscrossed by turnpikes; when the unskilled agricultural jobs dwindle under the impact of technology; when the federal government settles the land claims of the Seminole Tribe and ultimately sets them on their own. Then the Indian must be ready to adapt to a new way of life. Thus the work of the day school and its teachers is crucial to the future of these people; by developing healthy, intelligent youngsters, they are pro­viding a foundation for orderly so­cial change and the leaders who can affect it.

Clearly, if the day school is to ef­fectively fulfill its role, certain pro­grams of remedial and compensatory education, as well as more substan­tive community involvement, must be instituted through the efforts of BIA and the tribal leaders. In the fall of 1968, Florida Atlantic Uni­versity began an adult basic literacy program on Big Cypress aimed at the unschooled parents of pre- and school-aged children. It was hoped that this would enable them to aid their children or at least provide some reinforcement for the work of the school. Throughout the year a university professor working on the adult project became aware of the problems at Ahfachkee and suggest­ed that immediate steps be taken to help the teachers and improve the curriculum. In the late spring of 1969, the BIA contracted with the university to carry out a program of psychological and achievement test­ing, speech and hearing screening, as well as a survey of student living conditions and parental attitudes re­garding education. These basic data were crucial for planning future pro­grams. Title I funding was used to provide in-service teacher education, remedial reading, and tutorial ser­vices at the school during the 1969-70 school year. With the advent of proper funding, the involvement of university specialists, and the contin­uing support of the BIA and the tribe, perhaps the future will see sub­stantive changes in the quality of ed­ucation offered at the Ahfachkee Day School.

Endnotes

1. Billy Osceola, tribal chairman, to Robert Bennett, Commissioner of In­dian Affairs, August 1, 1966. Seminole Indian Agency Files.

2. Annual Attendance Report, Ahfach­kee Day School, July 7, 1969. Semi­nole Indian Agency Files.

3. E. W. Barrett, Superintendent, Semi­nole Indian Agency to U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Indian Education, January 21, 1969. Seminole Indian Agency Files.

4. During the 1968-69 school year there were forty-eight Seminole Indian students attending federal boarding schools. These children, ranging in age from nine to eighteen, came from home environments which were not conducive to their educational and social well-being as determined by tri­bal leaders and BIA social workers. Of this group twenty-three came from the Big Cypress Reservation.



Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 72 Number 1, 1970, p. 93-104
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 1639, Date Accessed: 1/28/2022 11:41:27 PM

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