Examines Indian boarding school narratives and their impact on the Native literary tradition from 1879 to the present
Indian boarding schools were the lynchpins of a federally sponsored system of forced assimilation. These schools, located off-reservation, took Native children from their families and tribes for years at a time in an effort to “kill” their tribal cultures, languages, and religions. In Learning to Write “Indian,” Amelia V. Katanski investigates the impact of the Indian boarding school experience on the American Indian literary tradition through an examination of turn-of-the-century student essays and autobiographies as well as contemporary plays, novels, and poetry.
Many recent books have focused on the Indian boarding school experience. Among these Learning to Write “Indian” is unique in that it looks at writings about the schools as literature, rather than as mere historical evidence.