Case Study of the American Indian Boarding School Movement. An Oral History of Saint Joseph’s Indian Industrial School

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This work examines the successes and failures of one boarding school, Saint Joseph’s Indian Industrial School, located in Keshena, Wisconsin, and provides a deeper understanding of one of the greatest tragedies of federal American Indian policy.


“. . . readers will find that this book provides a context for understanding sameness and differences in experiences and illuminates the kaleidoscope of experiences associated with forced assimilation attempts.” – Betsy Levonian Morgan, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

“Whether for pleasure or to be used as a learning tool, without a doubt, this book is a must read.” - Margarita Refugia Olivas, Ph.D., Communication Studies Department, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

“Due to the creativity of this interview format that this written work was based upon, it provides a refreshing non-European perspective into the Indian experience of boarding schools and insight into the Menominee Nation.” - Christine M. Meisenheimer, Ph.D., Retired Clinical Psychotherapist

Table of Contents

1. The Organizational History of Saint Joseph’s Indian Industrial School
2. “To Serve Them All My Life”: A Teacher’s Perspective of Saint Joseph’s Indian Industrial School
3. Mush College: Everyday Life at Saint Joseph’s
4. “To Raise These Poor Children to a Higher Level of Civilization than their Parents”
5. I Am Still Menominee? The Ultimate Failure of Saint Joseph’s Indian Industrial School
6. Immigrants, Education, and the American Indian Boarding School Movement
Appendix A. Contact between the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions for 1904
Appendix B. Administrators of Saint Joseph’s Indian Industrial School
Appendix C. Unedited Interviews from Chapter Two

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