American Indian/First Nations Schooling: From the Colonial by Charles L. Glenn (auth.)

By Charles L. Glenn (auth.)

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I believe also that there is in the Indian a perfect capability of adapting himself to the customs of the white people . . ”35 The 1876 Indian Act “authorized the [Canadian] federal government to direct all of the activities of Indian people. . ”37 Not all Indian peoples became wards of government in the full sense; the “Five Civilized Nations,” in particular, were able with considerable success to maintain semi-independent status with an elaborated tribal government and a range of institutions similar to those of white society.

16 At the summit of this system would be separate academies—known as “seminaries”—for young men and young women, with instruction equivalent to that of secondary institutions elsewhere in the country. An academy education was at the time and for some decades after thought quite sufficient qualification for school teaching and a variety of other nonmanual occupations. ”17 Establishment of the two seminaries was approved by the Cherokee National Council in 1846, with funding to be provided both by Cherokee funds and also by the trust funds promised by the federal government when it made a treaty with the Cherokee, in 1835, to surrender their lands in the Southeast and move west of the Mississippi.

Making Christians ● 23 own language by the earlier date, and nine had learned to read English. These “praying Indians” remained loyal to the colonists during King Philip’s War. 19 The work of Eliot, the Mayhews, and the Plymouth missionaries, it should be noted, was supported largely by gifts from England, not by the colonists. The London-based Society or Corporation for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England, established by Parliament in 1649, provided funds to pay expenses incurred by Eliot and others, most notably for translation and publication of scripture and devotional works but also for missionary salaries, salaries for Indian teachers, and a variety of material goods that helped the Indians to adapt to the new economy created by the Puritan presence.

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