This collection uses primary sources to explore American Indian boarding schools. Digital Public Library of America Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills and draw diverse material from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States. Each set includes an overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide. These sets were created and reviewed by the teachers on the DPLA's Education Advisory Committee.
In the 1870’s, the United States Government began a system of education for Native Americans in the U.S. Richard Pratt, a military veteran of the Civil War, was chosen to lead a school intended to assimilate Native American children into white American culture. Students there would be forced to cut their hair, speak the English language, change their names to Christian names, and change from their traditional religious beliefs to Christianity. Pratt founded the Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, PA in 1873. The boarding schools would have a profoundly negative impact upon generations of Native Americans and forced many to lose contact with their traditional culture. Several boarding schools were operated in Wisconsin, including one in Lac du Flambeau, WI.