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Publication Date


Document Type



School for Social Work


Off-reservation boarding schools-United States-Psychological aspects, Indian children-Education-United States, Indian students-Relocation-United States-Psychological aspects, Parenting-Psychological aspects, Indians of North America-Family relationships, Native American, Parenting, Boarding school, School, Boarding


Native American Elders' perceptions of their boarding school experience and its influence on contemporary Native family parenting is explored in this study. Twenty American Indians, male and female age 55 and older, who attended boarding school, are fluent in English, and parented children were interviewed. Two separate sites were selected; one urban setting in South Dakota, and a rural reservation in North Dakota. A semi-structured interview guide was used to explore their perceptions of relationships, nurturance, and discipline before and during boarding school attendance and their own parenting experiences. Study participants reported both positive and negative perceptions of their boarding school experience, and reported mixed influences on their parenting practices. Study informants believe parenting instruction for young parents that reflects a return to traditional Native American teachings and values are important. Implications of these findings for practice and research are presented.




vi, 170 p. : col. maps Dissertation (Ph.D.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p 140-152)