Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 1993

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Kent D. Richards

Second Committee Member

Karen Blair

Third Committee Member

Earl T. Glauert


Separating Native American children from their people to train them for entering white society was seen by proponents as an alternative to extinction. Reformers implemented this goal by establishing off-reservation boarding schools like that at Chemawa, Oregon. Though their methods changed, the objective of assimilation remained constant. This case study argues that this emphasis was well-intentioned but flawed. Examination of a fifty year period reveals the unrealistic assumption that Native children would forsake their identity for another.