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extreme makeover the wild west edition 1

As tribal life came to end for most Native Americans during the end of the 19th century, reformers called for a new direction in Indian policy: assimilation. Assimilation argued against segregating Native Americans onto reservations, and instead called for assimilating them into white culture, replicating the traditional Anglo patterns of patriarchy with the men tilling the fields and the women working in the home. Whites wanted Natives to conform to their social and educational standards, including the Christian religion.

This desire to assimilate the Indians into white culture soon became government policy. Ethnocentric reformers included government officials, church leaders, and social workers. These individuals were committed to forcing the Natives to “walk the white man’s road,” as Sitting Bull had once called it.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs led this campaign for the government, carrying out a program of assimilation for Indian children by establishing boarding schools that displaced them from their parents. The government removed children as young as 5, forcing them to learn English, dress in Anglo clothing, and practice Christianity. The children were told to abandon their old ways, in the words of one reformer, to “kill the Indian and save the man.”

Review the before and after pictures below and review the Wikipedia article on the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Answer the questions that follow.

Wikipedia site:…


1. What differences do you notice between the “Before” and “After” images.

2. Based on the information you learned at Wikipedia, why would Native American parents send their children to the Carlisle School?

3. In addition to assimilation, the Dawes Act and the near-extermination of the buffalo contributed to the demise of tribal life for Native Americans. Describe the Dawes Act and explain how it and the near-extermination of the buffalo undermined tribal life for Native Americans.


All answers must be correct, responses should be well written, and include relevant information and examples from the lesson content. Also provide relevant personal insights and/or opinions.

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