Native American Education
Through the years minority groups have long endured repression, poverty, and discrimination. A prime example of such a group is the Native Americans. They had their own land and fundamental way of life stripped from them almost unceasingly for decades. Although they were the real “natives” of the land, they were driven off by the government and coerced to assimilate to the white man’s way. Unfortunately, the persecution of the Natives was primarily based on the prevalent greed for money and power. This past impeded the Native American’s preservation of their culture as many were obviated of the right to speak the native language and dress in traditional clothing. Because of this cultural expulsion, among other things, Native Indians’ ancestral identities have withered. Until recently there have not been many rectifications in their social standing, economic situation, and educational progress. So it came to be that Native American students in the state of Nebraska statistically score among the lowest in the nation. However, despite their history of cultural repression and violence some Native American reservations have improved their educational success. Through innovative teaching techniques and a full understanding of the Native American culture, schooling systems have improved in various places around the nation. These model academic curriculums can lead the way for more advancement in struggling areas such as Nebraska.
There are many factors that have contributed to the concurrent academic struggle with Native Americans. The government’s Americanization efforts directly repressed their culture and identity through the Indian boarding schools. There were rules invoked such as cutting the children’s hair, changing their names, diet, dress, and identity. Educators wanted Native American children to speak English, worship God, and assume American gender roles (Davis). They inculcated these Western values in the young American Indians in order to overcome their innate activities and ideals which prove to be quite distinct from those of Americans. Many Native Americans strongly believed that abuse of an infant would lead to the death of its soul or some physical abnormality, notes Driver, and so the Aztecs postponed harsh discipline until later years because of their belief in mild treatment of the youth. However, boarding schools disregarded this and severely beat and even killed some students as discipline. These policies at school clearly demonstrate how the native way of life was targeted. According to Barry Pritzker, those who attended the Indian boarding schools experienced attempts to destroy their native culture. They were taught that they were incapable of learning and succeeding. For them, with education came repression and violence. So because of these hapless experiences in boarding schools mainstream education is often frowned upon by them.
The Native Indian history of violence and debasement changed their...