This research investigated the boarding school stories of three Native American's; Esther
Burnett Horne, Adam Fortunate Eagle, and Paul Buffalo. All had attended different Midwest
boarding schools, and some during different eras of the boarding school years. The perspective
on different boarding schools and the different eras showed the changes that occurred during
those years and how government and cultural attitude began to shift.
The focus of this research shows how these individuals were able to find their innate
In addition to resilience, other themes manifested; security, militaristic education, and the
relationship with boarding school staff.
The outcome of the research shows that the presence and guidance of Native American
staff at the boarding schools, along with other Native American children, allowed these three
individuals to maintain their Indian identity against the overwhelming assimilistic tactics of the
United States government among the confines of militaristic schools.
Native American children found boarding school staff, especially Native American staff,
to be their connection to hope. With the proper tools, these Native American children showed
great resilience in the face of assimilation. The guidance of the boarding School staff, was the
core reason that, Essie Burnett Horner, Adam Fortunate Eagle and Paul Buffalo found the
pathway to success. The presence of security bolstered them, in spite of the militaristic
education they received, and allowed them to persevere. They were equipped with the right tools
to navigate the uncertain terrain of their lives, and were able to follow the good red road.
Capstone Project Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for The Master of Education Degree in the
College of Education and Human Service Professions, University of Minnesota Duluth, by Jeanne Rae Peterson.
December 2017. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 50 pages, appendix I, ill. This item has been modified from the original to redact the signatures present.
University of Minnesota, Duluth. College of Education and Human Service Professions.
Peterson, Jeanne R.
Native American Boarding Schools: Stories of Resilience in the Face of Assimilation.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
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