Resource

Indigenous Education and Family Separation

A set of three letters between a mother and the federal government that exemplify the tremendous sacrifices Indigenous parents made in exchange for a formal education for their children.

A letter in cursive written by a mother named Theresa Green from the Chippewa Nation to the commissioner of Indian Affairs asking that her daughter be sent home from the Carlisle School since her the 3-year contract there has passed.
Request for Marie Arteshaw to Return Home, 1/2

Theresa Green, “Request for Marie Arteshaw to Return Home.” Three letters between Theresa Green and the office of Indian Affairs, 1908. National Archives and Records Administration.

The second page of a letter in cursive written by a mother named Theresa Green from the Chippewa Nation to the commissioner of Indian Affairs asking that her daughter be sent home from the Carlisle School since her the 3-year contract there has passed.
Request for Marie Arteshaw to Return Home, 2/2

Theresa Green, “Request for Marie Arteshaw to Return Home.” Three letters between Theresa Green and the office of Indian Affairs, 1908. National Archives and Records Administration. 2/2

Document Text

Summary

Odanah, Wisconsin
June 13, 1908
To the Hon. Commissioner of Indian Affairs
Washington D.C.
This is a letter from Theresa Green to the Office of Indian Affairs.
Dear Sir:
I like to get an aid from you to get my daughter Marie Arteshaw home from Carlisle Pa. School Which I sent there three years ago in next Aug. I only made three years contract when she went to stay in that school.
Theresa requests that the Office help her daughter, Marie Arteshaw, return home. Marie is currently a student at the Carlisle Indian School.
I wrote to the Supt. Moses Friedman the other day asking him to send her home this summer Theresa wrote to the school, but the school refused her request.
and he told me that my contract was for five years which I only made for three years in any acknowledgment. Theresa believes she signed a three-year contract, but the school insists she signed a five-year contract.
She has been in the Government schools since she was about five or six years old and she is pasted eighteen now and she wants to come home now and my-self I like to see her come home now. And that is the only child I have, so I am anxious to see her.

Your’s Truly
Theresa Green

Marie wants to come home, and Theresa is eager to see her daughter.

Theresa Green, “Request for Marie Arteshaw to Return Home.” Three letters between Theresa Green and the office of Indian Affairs, 1908. National Archives and Records Administration.

Typed letter by the superintendent of the Carlisle School to the commissioner of Indian Affairs reporting back about Theresa Green’s request. The superintendent claims that Theresa’s daughter Marie is on a 5-year contract and has gotten into trouble recently. The superintendent recommends that Marie be kept at the school instead of allowed to return home.
Moses Friedman to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs

Friedman, Moses. Moses Friedman to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Carlisle, Pennsylvania. June 27, 1908. National Archives and Records Administration.