The historical development of the Chemawa Indian school Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/k643b3757

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  • The purposes of this thesis are; (a) the presentation of authentic data concerning the Chemawa Indian School from its establishment at Forest Grove, Oregon, in 1880 to the present time at Chemawa, Oregon; (b) the recording of some of the significant information concerning the school's growth; and to) an effort to evaluate the objectives of the institution. The factors which imposed limitations upon this study are; a. The incomplete records that are available in the files of the Chemawa Indian School, the Oregon State Library, and other places, b. A fire which in 1934 destroyed some of the Chemawa schoolts records* c. The apparent contradictions in the annual reports of some of the various superintendents of the Indian school. d. The brevity of the annual reports, except on attendance, finance, and production, from 1910 to the present day. e. The absence of other similar studies. The most significant sources of information for this study have been the annual reports of the secretary of the interior from 1880 until 1939, the various documents, reports, and records at the Chemawa Indian School, and the statements and factual information provided by Mr. Charles Larson and Mr. 0. R. Lippe, both experienced workers in Indian education at the Chemawa school and elsewhere. In order to clarify the education background of the school, the beginnings of missionary schools was mentioned. Of particular interest as a shadowy beginning was the mission established in the Willamette Valley by Jason Lee in 1835. Until 1870 the education of the Indians in the United States was the assumed responsibility of missionary groups. 1870 was the year that the education of the Indians was taken over by the Federal government. Ten years later through the indirect influence of Captain Richard Pratt who was instrumental in the establishment of the Carlisle Indian School, and through the direct efforts of Captain M. C. wilkinson, the Forest Grove Indian Industrial School was established. This school, under successive names that have varied from the Forest Grove Indian Industrial School, Salem Industrial School, Salem Indian School, Harrison Institute, to the present name of Chemawa Indian School, has enrolled over 8, 000 pupils from its first year to 1940. To understand the development of the Chemawa Indian School, it is necessary to be familiar with the fluctuating policies of the Federal government in regard to the non-reservation schools. These policies have varied from decade to decade or in shorter, spans, until today the main trend is definitely toward the gradual elimination of these schools. The study shows the development of the physical plant of the Indian school, it discusses the educational policies of the various superintendents, it shows the changes made in the curriculum, and it sketches certain aspects of the social life of the children at this institution. In the physical growth of the school there are certain conspicuous events that are described: the actual establishment at Forest Grove, the movement of the school to a more favorable site near Salem, and the emergency of 1933, when the school was almost closed because of drastic economic measures by the Federal Government. In view of the 8,000 Indians who have received some training in vocations and academic pursuits, the skills and desirable habits that have been taught by this institution, and the fact that this school has a unique place in helping certain children who cannot get assistance elsewhere, it is the conclusion of the writer that the Chemawa Indian School merits this written evidence of its activities.
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