2/7/08

Thinkin' Back Thursday--Invasion of the White Man



My daughter Z2 and her friends are researching informatin for a documentary they are creating for their National History Day project this year.


The National History Day theme this year is Conflict and Compromise.


Their subject matter is showing how the invasion of the "white man" changed the culture of the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe.


It was fascinating talking with them today about their subject, and helping them realize that one of the things they want to show in this documentary is the fact that this group of people lived in this area, including the Silver Valley, for thousands of years. But it only took less than 100 years for another group of people to come and invade their land, take away a majority of their land, and almost completely wipe out their culture, a way of life and they had known for hundreds of years.

It has been interesting learning how the Coeur d'Alene Tribe dealt with this conflict. Their compromise was to send a group of their tribal members to Walla Walla, Washington to ask the Sisters of Providence to send some nuns to start a school for their girls, because the priests were already teaching their boys.


They were smart enought to realize that the white man and his ways were here to stay, and they needed to compromise their traditions and language by bringing in teachers to show their children the ways of the white man. So the children were taught English, and domestic chores, and the Catholic religion, among other subjects.

But one of the unique things about the Coeur d'Alene Tribe was they made this choice for their people. Their school was ran by the Catholic Church. It was not a government boarding school like many were around the country.
Desmet, Idaho in the early 1900's, the site of the boarding school where Coeur d'Alene Tribal members sent their children to attend school.

And it was something the tribe initiated themselves. The boarding school was located in DeSmet, Idaho. The girls have gathered much research, and are working on their script for the documentary, which will be presented in competition at Kellogg Middle School on March 15.

Once the documentary is finished, I will post it for all to enjoy.

National History Day is a wonderful program, and the students involved learn critical thinking skills, research techniques, besides learning about a historical topic.

3 comments:

Go Figure said...

Wow, education! What a great thing it is to see when it is done this way. Z2 is getting a great opportunity to study and learn. Real people, real facts, real learning.

Cedar Street Kid said...

Very nice. History was my favorite.
subject in school, but we were not blessed with history teachers who took their subject seriously.
It wasn't until I went to college that I had instructors who had a passion for history. would have loved to have had studies like this eary on

Silver Valley Girl said...

Yes, this is a great program, and I think I learn as much as the students do when we work on these projects. Younger daughter Kiki Aru is doing a project as well. Her and two other girls will do a performance on the Salem Witch Trials. I can't wait to see the completion of both projects!