Kill the Indian, Save the Man

Kill the Indian, Save the Man

The Genocidal Impact of American Indian Residential Schools

Book - 2004
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For five consecutive generations, from roughly 1880 to 1980, Native American children in the United States and Canada were forcibly taken from their families and relocated to residential schools. The stated goal of this government program was to "kill the Indian to save the man." Half of the children did not survive the experience, and those who did were left permanently scarred. The resulting alcoholism, suicide, and the transmission of trauma to their own children has led to a social disintegration with results that can only be described as genocidal.

"The Indian residential schools in both the US and Canada... include[d] the forced exile of children and the prohibition of the use of a national language or religion.... Churchill presents a bleak yet utterly necessary history of a brutal system that was in effect until 1990." -Booklist

"Painful and powerful,Kill the Indian, Save the Man provides the first comprehensive study of the effects of the residential schools into which American Indian children were forced by the U.S. and Canadian governments. With his usual painstaking accuracy and moving prose, Churchill exposes the genocidal nature of this important dimension of the assimilationist policies that continue to decimate Native North American communities. This book is essential reading for anyone concerned with the ravages of settler state colonialism or the effectsof transgenerational trauma." - Natsu Taylor Saito, Professor of Law, Georgia State University, and author ofWe Have Met the Enemy...American Exceptionalism andSubversion of the Rule of Law

"The analysis and evidence deployed herein are both compelling and altogether consistent with what I've discovered in my own research and experience as a judge on a special tribunal assessing the effects of residential schooling on the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. I urge all people who oppose genocide--from whatever source, against whatever victims--to read this book." - Jim Craven (Omahkohkiaayo-i'poyi), citizen of the Blackfoot Nation and Professor of Economics, Clark College

Ward Churchill is the author ofA Little Matter of Genocide, among other books. He is currently a Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Publisher: San Francisco : City Lights, c2004.
ISBN: 9780872864344
Characteristics: xlix, 158 p. :,ill. ;,22 cm.


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Jul 17, 2017

The title of this book is an actual quote from Richard Henry Pratt, an officer who developed the school system for Native Americans. The prolific Ward Churchill, a professor and Cherokee, has written extensively about Native American history and issues, with a focus on colonialism and genocide, a word that could be controversial, but he's not afraid to deploy. It's even in the subtitle. This slim, but heavy, book concentrates on the education system that was set up for Native American children that, in Churchill's opinion, amounted to little more than cultural genocide and is sought to get rid of the Indian culture and replace it with American ideals and thinking. Along the way, children were beaten, starved, worked, abused, and taken away from their families. It's a brutal accounting, but it's one that all Americans need to reckon with.

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