Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Learned Something Disturbing

Has anyone seen Australia the movie. You know what they did to the mixed blood, or half breed(whatever they called them)kids there, taking them away from their family. They did the same thing here with the American Indians and also in Canada but it was with ALL Indian children!
I was reading a blog of someone I worked with at Anasazi yesterday. He is Indian and his article was about Indian boarding schools...has anyone ever heard about them!?! I never have, ever! That is part of why it is SO disturbing to me.
From what I have read apparently the US government had Indian boarding schools that went from 1800's until the 1960's when laws were finally pasted giving Indians rights to decide how to educate their kids. Indian children where forced to leave their families and grow up in a boarding school, that was run like the military, where their hair was cut off, they were forced not to speak their native language or talk about anything in their culture, or they were beaten. As I read about it a lot of them were sexually abused and used as slave in the summer so they very rarely if at all got to see their families. Not only that but they grow up feeling so alone and isolated,other then friends they made, they where never shown love and they didn't know it they where suppose to fit in with whites or Indians.
This went on all the way to the 60's! Am I the only one that is sick to my stomach while learning this. Why have I NEVER heard anything about this! Why isn't this taught in High Schools? I know it wasn't taught in mine, I would have remembered. I told my Mom about it and she had never heard of it either!!!
There are a lot of studies going on now linking those schools and how the kids were raised in them to bad parenting skills, alcoholism, depression, etc. And of course lose of their native language and skills of their culture. But mostly the articles I read about was linking to why some are so, lets say, harsh or demanding and might hit their kids. It totally makes sense to me that is how they were raised. They are some places that are trying to hold classes to teach them the skills they lost and parenting classes and support groups. But these bad habits have been pasted down for 3 generations now if not more. Generally 2 generations in families have gone to the boarding schools. My heart goes out to them and the anger inside me simmers to know this happened in our country, for so long, and that I have never heard about it, they don't teach it in school!
Here is one of the articles I read...Tribes confront painful legacy of boarding schools(from the Seattle Times)