that is one version of one man’s story. it ignores the rest of the story. years ago many parents of native Americans feared for the future of their children if they remained isolated and poorly educated on reservations and send their children to schools run by Catholic (and other) missionaries for the express purpose of educating them in mainstream American culture to give them what they envisioned as a better future.
A similar debate goes on continually in the field of education all over the country, and has always been there: the best way to assimilate immigrants, use of “eubonics” and afro-centrism, etc. Changing a child’s language changes culture as well and w/o a strong family and community support the next generation almost inevitably loses much of the distinctiveness of their native culture.
Even today in my area school districts differ on the issue of bi-lingual, all English, or all Spanish education for newly arrived children from Mexico. Those who take one position or the other are not evil oppressors, they have for better or worse sound reasons for advocating their policy.
Mother’s mission was not education it was primary care for the poor, so I don’t even see the connection.
The Catholic missionaries who ran, and still run those schools did so to supply a lack that was not being met by the government or the tribes t that time, and did so with the best available resources and education theories of the day, with charity, extreme sacrifice and good will. That the theories may have been wrong and the methods–commonly approved and used in schools in general in that era–does not automatically make them evil and abhorrent. The same missionaries continue that work today, and with a growth in knowledge, experience and sensitivity that parallels and has actually exceeded that of the wider society, do make extreme efforts to honor the existing native culture and help preserve it.
why the topic is on this forum is a mystery to me