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Albuquerque Indian School and Indian Child Removal

Seven Generations 2020

Indigenous peoples in New Mexico and the greater Southwest continued to face violence and genocide in the decades following the Long Walk. In 1881, the Presbyterian Church opened the Albuquerque Indian School (AIS) to educate and assimilate Native children into white Anglo society. AIS was transferred to federal control in 1884, and soon after, the United States government established the Santa Fe Indian School in 1890.

The off-reservation boarding school system followed Richard Henry Pratt’s mantra of “kill the Indian, save the man.” If Native children could be cut off from their families, communities, and culture—the thinking went—they could be more readily made into members of “white” society. Federal agents forcibly removed children from their communities to be sent far from home where they would be stripped of their traditional dress, religion, and language. This more covert form of cultural erasure and removal replaced the US military’s all-out war against Native Americans but had a similar effect on Native communities.

As the off-reservation boarding school movement declined, adoption of Native children by non-Native families increased. By 1969, one third of all Native American children had been adopted out of their communities. The passage of the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act of 1970 further exacerbated the problem; the law subsidized sterilization procedures performed at Indian Health Service hospitals or for Medicaid patients, and within six years of the law’s creation, between 25 and 42 percent of Native women in their childbearing years were sterilized, many through coercion or without their consent. Among them were many Native women in New Mexico.

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Seven Generations 2020

 

Seven Generations 2020

Seven Generations 2020

Seven Generations 2020



Seven Generations 2020

Seven Generations 2020

Seven Generations 2020

Seven Generations 2020