Indigenous Peoples - American Indian Boarding Schools (CERD Shadow Report, 2008)

During the 19th century and into the 20th century, American Indian children were forcibly abducted from their homes to attend Christian and U.S. government-run boarding schools as a matter of state policy. This system had their beginnings in the 1600's when John Eliot erected praying towns for American Indians where he separated them out from their communities to receive Christian civilizing instruction. However, colonists soon concluded that such practices should be targeted towards children because they believed adults were to set in their ways to become Christianized. Jesuit priests began developing schools for Indian children along the St. Lawrence River in the 1600s.