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Pipestone: My Life in an Indian Boarding…
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Pipestone: My Life in an Indian Boarding School

by Adam Fortunate Eagle

Other authors: Laurence M. Hauptman (Afterword)

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In the 1930’s young Native American boys and girls were sent to boarding schools around the country to assimilate to the Christian way of life. This assimilation of peoples has taken place in many regions and cultures where the United States is concerned. Native Americans where chased from their homes and put onto reservations. Some children were not allowed to speak their native languages, and were taken from their homes, or were orphans. These children grew up in dormitories, often only visiting their families during vacations.
Adam was only 5 years old when he was taken to the boarding school and lived this life style for ten years. This experience gave the author a wealthy resource to draw from when writing this text. The text is semi-autobiographical in that it is written in a diary type method, mentioning times and moments from his childhood. Adam’s experience is very real, and can be linked to documented history though books, stories, and pictures.
The text is very grabbing. I had trouble putting it down. I have heard of “Indian Boarding Schools” but had never read about them. This book describes the good times, and some not so good times of living in a boarding school. The text describes his experiences that can be backed up facts. Though the story isn’t written in specific sequential order it is somewhat chronological. It begins with him at five years old, ending with him as an adult.
The book has a disclaimer at the beginning which states that not everyone will agree with this story, but that it is Adam’s experience. He goes on to say if you don’t like it and don’t agree; you do not have the right to say anything unless you are also a seventy year old man who lived in a boarding school. The review of the book describes Adam’s experience as “a delightful journey”. After reading the story I would not say it was delightful, but captivating and accurate. I would use this text to teach Native American history and could use as a read aloud for younger students. Some snipes paint interesting pictures for the reader. ( )
  dlow | Feb 14, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adam Fortunate Eagleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hauptman, Laurence M.Afterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080614114X, Paperback)

A renowned activist recalls his childhood years in an Indian boarding school

Best known as a leader of the Indian takeover of Alcatraz Island in 1969, Adam Fortunate Eagle now offers an unforgettable memoir of his years as a young student at Pipestone Indian Boarding School in Minnesota. In this rare firsthand account, Fortunate Eagle lives up to his reputation as a “contrary warrior” by disproving the popular view of Indian boarding schools as bleak and prisonlike.

Fortunate Eagle attended Pipestone between 1935 and 1945, just as Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Collier’s pluralist vision was reshaping the federal boarding school system to promote greater respect for Native cultures and traditions. But this book is hardly a dry history of the late boarding school era. Telling this story in the voice of his younger self, the author takes us on a delightful journey into his childhood and the inner world of the boarding school. Along the way, he shares anecdotes of dormitory culture, student pranks, and warrior games. Although Fortunate Eagle recognizes Pipestone’s shortcomings, he describes his time there as nothing less than “a little bit of heaven.”

Were all Indian boarding schools the dispiriting places that history has suggested? This book allows readers to decide for themselves.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:20 -0400)

"Best known as a leader of the Indian takeover of Alcatraz Island in 1969, Adam Fortunate Eagle now offers an unforgettable memoir of his years as a young student at Pipestone Indian Boarding School in Minnesota. In this rare firsthand account, Fortunate Eagle lives up to his reputation as a "contrary warrior" by disproving the popular view of Indian boarding schools as bleak and prisonlike." "Fortunate Eagle attended Pipestone between 1935 and 1945, just as Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Collier's pluralist vision was reshaping the federal boarding school system to promote greater respect for Native cultures and traditions. But this book is hardly a dry history of the late boarding school era. Telling this story in the voice of his younger self, the author takes us on a delightful journey into his childhood and the inner world of the boarding school. Along the way, he shares anecdotes of dormitory culture, student pranks, and warrior games. Although Fortunate Eagle recognizes Pipestone's shortcomings, he describes his time there as nothing less than "a little bit of heaven.""--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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