Native American people had to be courageous during the boarding school era because they had already suffered from disease and starvation. Some of the diseases that the Native American people had to overcome were: smallpox, influenza, tuberculosis, alcoholism, and poor nutrition. The buffalo was almost extinct because the white people were killing for fun and not for prayer.
While the white man was taking our land, killing our precious animals, and giving us diseases, they were also putting the Native American youth into boarding schools. The white teachers were trying to take away the Native American history. They tried to take the Native American religion away and tried to make the Native youth learn by the white man’s way. The children were taken from their families and most of the youth never saw their families again. Some of the young children were put into foster homes. The children were punished horribly if they made the smallest mistake, like even speaking their own language.
Native American people were still following their religion, even though the white man was trying to take it away. Our elders kept the language alive. People today are still learning the language that the white people tried to take away. The United States Government and Catholic churches were unable to get rid of our culture. Courage kept our people and culture alive.