Indian Boarding School Tom Torlino 3 years later Tom Torlino as he entered the Carlisle Indian School in 1882
In the late 1800s the federal government set up non-reservation Indian boarding schools.
The purpose of the schools was to teach young Indians about “American” culture and to distance them from “savage” Indian culture.
This was followed by an hour or two of religious instruction…
and a midday meal with customs and foods that were unfamiliar to Native Americans.
In the afternoons, girls performed necessary chores like housekeeping…
while others received military instruction so that they might become patriotic citizens.
Attendance was mandatory. Children as young as six years old were separated from their families for months at a time.
Children who attempted to run away were punished with beatings, solitary confinement, and food deprivation.
Poor sanitation, crowding, and lack of adequate medical care led to numerous outbreaks of contagious diseases. Tuberculosis was a particular concern.