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Not all boarding schools bad

Regarding the article “Thinking Indian at tribal colleges” by Richard B. Williams [Vol. 29 No. 11] I find his total indictment of Indian boarding schools to be troubling, especially his statement, “Our children were forcibly removed from home to be educated at boarding schools, where cemeteries are filled with the bodies of children who were starved, beaten and abused.”

As an 80-year-old, I can look back at my own childhood when I spent 10 years at the Pipestone Indian Training School from 1935 to 1945 and another five years at Haskell Institute from 1945 to 1950. I neither experienced nor witnessed any of the brutal conditions as reported by Richard Williams.

As a teacher and historian I believe Dr. Williams should clarify for your readers which of the 27 federally operated boarding schools carried out those alleged horrendous acts of cruelty and in what time frame did they occur? He fails to mention the education and job training skills we were taught in the boarding school system allowing us to compete in the dominant society.

– Dr. Adam Nordwall

Fallow Indian Reservation

Nevada