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The Residential Experience

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“The reservation boarding schools necessarily do less work, the pupils are younger, the facilities more limited. Only three or four trades are dealt with, usually carpentry, blacksmithing, shoemaking* harness making, some painting and bricklaying.”

Pratt argued that boarding school such as Carlisle were a far superior alternative to day schools on reservations. The schools on the reservation did not receive as much funding as the other Indian schools, and therefore were unable to provide a high quality education. The teachers were often under qualified and had not received proper training. The vocational training was limited to just a few subjects, as mentioned in the quote above. Those that received their education on the reservation were often unable to leave and join the rest of society if they so desired - they were not sufficiently qualified to do so. Most importantly to Pratt, the boarding school experience allowed him to completely separate the students from the cultures of their home.