For decades, families were ruptured as Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their homes and communities and adopted by white families or sent to faraway government-run boarding schools. Survivors recall the abuse and exploitation they endured in settings where their language and traditions were prohibited. They are demanding that the government be held accountable for its role.
Below, this 23-minute video is broken up into two sections, accompanied by lesson plans and student activities.
Students will learn about federally run boarding schools, institutions created to force the assimilation of Native American children into white society. The larger goal of this lesson is to develop empathy and to consider how the boarding school experience continues to affect Native American communities today.
- Lesson Plan: Understanding Boarding Schools for Native Americans
- Student Activity: Understanding Boarding Schools for Native Americans
- Timeline Cards: Understanding Boarding Schools for Native Americans
The Indian Child Welfare Act
Students will learn how during the 1950s and 60s, Native children were routinely taken from their families by social workers and placed for adoption into white families. The legal dispute is part of a long pattern of tensions between U.S. and state governments and tribal entities over issues of sovereignty.