First Advisor

Esperanza De La Vega

Term of Graduation

Spring 2020

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum & Instruction




United States Indian School (Carlisle, Pa.), Indigenous children -- Education -- United States -- History -- 19th century, Indians of North America -- Education -- United States -- History -- 19th century, Indians of North America -- Cultural assimilation, Discrimination in education, Academic achievement, Colonization, Genocide -- United States -- History, Psychic trauma, Indians of North America -- Ethnic identity, Identity (Psychology)



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 214 pages)


This dissertation research study brings together a historical account and one scholar's personal and family stories of how Indigenous children were stolen and sent to the first Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) boarding schools and tribal schools. In the case of the researcher's family, the educational experiences at Carlisle Indian Industrial School immediately started a traumatic assimilation process on Indigenous children that instilled generational trauma for them and their descendants. At these schools, Indigenous children were forced to conform to a foreign European school designed to abolish their Indigenous identity that demanded they give up their language and culture to be successful in education. In this study, the researcher explored the history of settler colonialism within Indian boarding schools and its impact on the succeeding generations of students who first attended them. Through in-depth interviewing method, 16 participants shared their family stories and perceptions of how Indian boarding schools were unwelcoming places of learning, where Indigenous children were forced to engage in an education system that had at its core, settler colonialism within its curriculum. The findings revealed how the student's Indigenous identity became a factor in the student's survival within the schools and was paramount in building the children's resilience while undergoing assimilation into the White European immigrant society.


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Persistent Identifier