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Sioux boys as they arrived at Carlisle

1892
Photograph

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Sioux boys as they arrived at Carlisle." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed December 30, 2020. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-1b90-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

These photographs provide evidence of the youth who attended the Carlisle Indian Industrial School between 1879 and 1918. Under the direction of Richard Pratt, the school featured “before” and “after” photographs of its students to highlight the many ways that students changed over the course of their time at the school. Compare the “before-and-after-education” photos. What do these images say about the mission or goals of the Carlisle School and the experience of its students? Why do you think Pratt felt that uniforms were important for the attempted assimilation of Native students? What does this tell us about the relationship between the students and the federal government? How do you think this made Native people feel about their relationship with the federal government?

 

Native youths from communities across the United States attended the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania between 1879 and 1918. Approximately ten to twelve thousand students were enrolled in the school during this time. School officials provided students with instruction in academics and practical, industrial tasks. Children who arrived at CIIS were immediately stripped of their clothing and had their hair cut. According to the History of the Carlisle Indian School, “For the Lakota, the cutting of hair was symbolic of mourning and there was much wailing and lamenting which lasted into the night.” The children lived in dormitories and endured strict discipline, which included military dress, drilling, and a military social structure. For a detailed history of school life, visit the Carlisle Indian School History website at: https://carlisleindian.historicalsociety.com/history-of-the-carlisle-indian-school/

Sioux boys as they arrived at Carlisle