Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Welcome Kristy McCaffrey to Cowboy Kisses

While I'm (Ginger) enjoying the Christmas holidays in Arizona, Kristy was kind enough to fill in for me today with an interesting article and an introduction to her new release, set in the very state I'm visiting.  Thank you, Kristy, and happy holidays to everyone.

Indian Boarding Schools
Guest Post by Kristy McCaffrey

During the 1800’s, when many Native Americans were forced onto reservations, the American government agreed to provide money, food, and education for their children. While this exchange proved to be largely detrimental to the Indian population, it was still believed that if they could learn to speak English, become Christian, and farm the land as European Americans did, then they would become successful in life. To this end, Christian churches began to open mission schools on reservations. Later, boarding schools were created with the idea that it would be easier to teach children a new way of life if they were taken from their own families and people. Boarding schools were established in 15 states or territories including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, California and Idaho. Children stayed anywhere from four to ten years.

While some parents readily agreed to send their children, believing they needed to learn English and new job skills, others refused. In many instances, the government forced the children to go. In 1895, a group of Hopi leaders were sent to Alcatraz Island for seven months because they wouldn’t sent their children to a boarding school.

New students were stripped of their native clothing and given uniforms. Their hair was usually cut short and they were given English names. They were punished if they used their native language. Their spiritual traditions were forbidden, replaced instead with church services and the observance of Christian holidays. The schools were often over-crowded and many children became sick, contracting influenza, tuberculosis, and measles.

While overwhelmingly negative for most children, one positive aspect was that many built lasting friendships with Native Americans from other tribes while at school together. It wasn’t until the mid-1900’s that most boarding schools were closed.

Works Cited
Littlefield, Holly. Children of the Indian Boarding Schools. Carolrhoda Books, Inc., 2001.

Photo Credits
Don’t miss Kristy’s new book, Into the Land of Shadows, a historical western romance set in the Arizona Territory, now available from Prairie Rose Publications. As Ethan Barstow and Kate Kinsella search for Ethan’s brother, Charley, they find three Hopi children along the way hiding in the desert, on the run from nearby Keams Canyon Boarding School.

Ethan Barstow has come to Arizona Territory to search for his younger brother, Charley. It’s been five years since a woman came between them and it’s high time they buried the hatchet. He soon learns that his brother has broken more than one heart in town, has mysteriously and abruptly disappeared, and that an indignant fiancĂ©e is hot on his trail.

Kate Kinsella pursues Charley Barstow when he skips out of town without a second thought. Not only has he left Agnes McPherson alone and pregnant, but everyone still believes that he and Kate are engaged, a sham from the beginning. An ill-timed encounter with a group of ruffians has her suddenly in the company of Ethan Barstow, Charley’s brother and a man of questionable repute. As they move deeper into the shadows of the Arizona desert, family tensions and past tragedies threaten to destroy a relationship neither of them expects.

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Janice Hougland said...

So glad to be introduced to a new-to-me historical western romance author! Yea! I can't get enough of that genre. Thank much for the post.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Isn't it amazing how good intentions caused so much pain? It's such a sad part of our American history. Wonderful article, Kristy.

Ciara Gold said...

I can't begin to imagine what those children had to go through. Very interesting post.

Alison E. Bruce said...

We didn't have the Indian Wars like you did, but Canada shares the shame of the residential schools that stripped children of their language, cultural and family ties.

"An amendment to the Indian Act in 1884 made attendance at a day, industrial or residential school compulsory for First Nations children and, in some parts of the country, residential schools were the only option.[1] The number of residential schools reached 80 in 1931 but decreased in the years that followed. The last federally operated residential school was closed in 1996. In total, about 150,000 First Nations children passed through the residential school system." (Wikipedia)

Setting aside the arrogance of our governments thinking that the European way should be forced on native peoples, the abuses in those schools was horrifying.

Good topic to bring up. Thanks.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Kristy, interesting post. Your new book sounds intriguing and one I'll have to add to my Kindle.