Elaine Goodale Eastman and the Native American Schools

When one thinks of people who have changed schools, one tends to think about traditional public schools. However, others have made changes in other types of schools. This includes schools for Native Americans. One such person was Elaine Goodale Eastman.

Elaine was born in Massachusetts on October 9, 1863. She grew up on Sky Farm. At a very young age, Elaine and her sister published poetry. They wrote books of poetry together, including Apple Blossoms. Elaine wrote The Journal of a Farmer's Daughter in 1881. It contained stories and poetry about rural life. She then went to boarding school for a year. That was all her family could afford. Then the farm was sold. Elaine needed work. A friend told her to teach.

Elaine lived after the Civil War. Many were involved during this time with teaching former slaves and Native Americans. Elaine turned toward teaching Native American children. The system was quite harsh. To learn the ways of white culture, they were sent to live at boarding schools. Often the schools were in the East. The idea was to put children into white society. The children were forced to wear clothes not of their culture. They were forbidden to speak their native language. These were common practices.

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