Skip to Content

Carlisle Indian Industrial School

5 Favorites 1 Copy (view)
US History Age Level High School (16 to 18 years old)

Perhaps the most famous of the Indian boarding schools created in the late 19th century, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania was founded by Captain Richard Henry Pratt (with funding and support from the United States government), with the purpose of assimilating (or Americanizing) Indian students.

Student will use archival materials to explore student life at Carlisle Indian School and to evaluate assimilation policy as practiced through the school. What was gained and lost through the process of assimilation?

Using these resources as a starting point, users should research one former Indian student or one aspect of student life using the Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center. Many student files record not only experiences that occurred while at the school, but information about occupations and life after the boarding school experience. Were students and families able to shape positive experiences despite the intended consequences of boarding school policy?

Students should create a writing or artwork that reflects information learned about that particular student or activity and that shares the learner's opinions on assimilation policy and the response of Native Americans. How should the Carlisle Indian School be remembered?

Tags: Native American, Indian, boarding school, assimilation, Pratt, Dawes Act, Jim Thorpe, allotment

Carlisle School Boys Outside YMCA Building 1879

National Anthropological Archives

Dorm Room, Carlisle Indian School Grounds 1879

National Anthropological Archives

Carlisle School Band Members 1879

National Anthropological Archives

Portrait (Front) of Luther Standing Bear 1894

National Anthropological Archives

Portrait of Two Female ? Infants FEB 1888

National Anthropological Archives