Sites of Assimilation

Federally Operated Prisons in the United States.

Throughout their relationship with the United States, Native Americans have been politically, socially, economically, and culturally marginalized. Deemed ‘savages’ by dominant White society, Native Americans have been continually displaced from ancestral lands, forced to assimilate to White ways, and denied their cultural heritage and identity. The creation of boarding schools and the implementation of assimilationist policies were a deliberate act by the United States government to eliminate and eradicate the presence of Native Americans peoples and culture from the continent. ​

Although many boarding schools closed in the mid-1900s, the United States has continued to deny Native Americans their land, cultural identity and heritage by incarcerating the population in institutions similar to boarding schools; prisons. This project will look at the ways Native American communities, families and children have been, and continue to be, affected by boarding schools and prisons, and will look at the ways these institutions and their narratives are intertwined.

The creation of this site was one of several completed by students at the University of Minnesota for Fall semester, 2016.