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American Indians, Education of

For centuries, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian families and communities have exercised their inherent sovereign rights to educate their children according to their own values, goals, and circumstances. Sovereign self-education by Native communities has for much of the past 5 centuries been at odds with, forcibly suppressed by, or actively criminalized by colonial systems of schooling that provided an education for American Indians dedicated to “erasing and replacing” assimilationalist policies and practices. Church and government schools and educational programs supported, funded, or run by settler nation-states (primarily England, France, and Spain initially and then by the United States of America) targeted all aspects of American Indian life (language, religion, economy, political structures, family organization, subsistence practices, land use systems, and so on) as ...

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