The horrifying news of the discovery of hundreds of graves of children at Native American boarding schools in Canada has a contemporary companion: the tears of Latinx kids on the border in the summer of 2018 (Kelly 2018). You may recognize these voices as those of the immigrant children who were separated from their parents upon crossing the US/Mexico border in the summer of 2018. I’d like you to juxtapose them with any of the thousands of Native American children separated from their parents and forced to attend US-run boarding schools in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A different time and different languages, indeed. But the emotion is likely the same: the fear and desperation of dark-skinned children forced to live in the crossroads of US colonization. To highlight this connection I share my experiences teaching a class on boarding schools, which I believe is one effective response to today’s encounters with colonialism. Although I have always included some boarding school material in my Native American Literature survey class at West Virginia University, in the fall of 2019 I had the opportunity to design a one-credit Native American class entitled “Carlisle Indian School Legacies.” As a one-credit course focused on the experience of visiting Carlisle, it was less involved than a normal three-credit class. Therefore I share here some of the literature and assignments I plan to use when teaching a larger version of this course.
Carpenter, Cari M.
"Teaching Legacies of the Carlisle Indian School,"
Feminist Pedagogy: Vol. 2:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/feministpedagogy/vol2/iss2/3