Native American Education and Family Separation2021-02-11T13:44:32-05:00

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Native American Education and Family Separation

A set of three letters between a mother and the federal government that exemplify the tremendous sacrifices Native American 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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Typed letter by the commissioner of Indian Affairs to Theresa Green stating that her daughter will not be allowed to come home since they signed a 5-year contract. Marie is not allowed to leave until the contract ends unless she graduates or has another reason for leaving early.
Acting Commissioner, Office of Indian Affairs to Theresa Green

Acting Commissioner, Office of Indian Affairs. Acting Commissioner, Office of Indian Affairs to Theresa Green. Washington, D.C. July 1, 1908. National Archives and Records Administration.

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Department of the Interior
Office of Indian Affairs

Washington
July 1, 1908
Subject: Request for return of daughter from the school.
This is a letter from the Office of Indian Affairs to Theresa Green.
Mrs. Theresa Green,
Odanah, Wisconsin.
My Friend:
Your letter of the 13th ultimo, asking that your daughter, Marie Arteshaw, be returned from Carlise School was referred to Superintendent Friedman for a report.
Theresa’s original letter was sent to the superintendent of the Carlisle School. He provided a report to the Office of Indian Affairs.
It appears that you signed a consent blank whereon the period of enrolment is given as five years, and that, under this action of yours the girl is not entitled to go home until the summer of 1910 unless because of graduation or other sufficient cause she is released earlier.

Very respectfully,
Acting Commissioner.

Theresa signed a five-year contract, and her daughter is not allowed to leave until 1910, unless she graduates or has another reason for leaving early. Theresa’s request is denied.

Acting Commissioner, Office of Indian Affairs. Acting Commissioner, Office of Indian Affairs to Theresa Green. Washington, D.C. July 1, 1908. National Archives and Records Administration.

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