Learn about the history behind the invention and stereotype of the term "Indian".
Anthropologists argue that all societies educate, train, or mentor their sons and daughters. While many do not have formal schools, they can, nevertheless, have an education system that helps younger generations socialize into the norms and expectations of their parents by learning the language, skills, and values needed to become productive members of society. Indigenous societies were no different. First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people had traditions, histories, and teaching systems that reflected their experience and directed their lives. The idea that Western culture was superior and that the Indigenous Peoples needed to be Christianized and civilized came from the biases of Europeans and their unwillingness to appreciate the complex, largely unwritten teaching processes inside indigenous communities.
What action can bring closure to episodes of conflict and mass violation of human rights? What can help create goodwill and trust between groups in the aftermath of such tragic events? Because of the massive lawsuit it faced, the government was almost forced to focus on the Indian Residential Schools, and it set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 2008 to address those issues. So what is a truth and reconciliation commission? What are its goals?
On Friday, September 10th, U.S. District Judge Ronald N. Davies ruled that the state could not continue to block integration. Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus responded to the court order by withdrawing the Arkansas National Guard.
The following Monday, about 100 Little Rock police officers placed wooden barricades around Central High as over a thousand angry white men and women from Arkansas and surrounding states gathered in front of the building. To avoid the mob, the African American students entered the school through a side door. After learning the students were in the building, the crowd went on a rampage.
The next day, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, outraged by the violence, ordered the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock. On September 25th, American soldiers not only dispersed the mob but also escorted the "Little Rock Nine" to school.
In the weeks that followed, the 101st Airborne restored order in the streets. But neither the soldiers nor school officials had much effect on the small but determined group of white students who insulted, humiliated, and physically threatened the “Little Rock Nine” day after day.
Duncan Campbell Scott was to run the residential school system at its peak— that is, between 1913 and 1932. Scott was what might be called an extreme assimilationist. As a career civil servant, he was involved in Aboriginal affairs throughout his career (he proposed several amendments to the Indian Act and negotiated one of the major treaties). More importantly, he oversaw the operation of the residential schools.