|Ellowyn Locke's doll|
Mr. BYLER. Yes; I think this is very much the case. In addition, I would say also we can really take the whole educational experience. Dr. Edward P. Dozier criticized Headstart programs for some Indian communities on the ground that an Indian child has such a short time in his life to learn how to behave in his own environment, to pick up the cultural and behavioral patterns of his parents. It was bad enough to start school at five or six because that bobtailed the opportunity the kids had to learn this. Now with Headstart in some communities, that age is down to 3 years, so these preschool experiences denied the children the opportunity to learn how to function properly in their own society.
And it demoralizes the whole functioning of families when those children who grow up in a boarding school become parents themselves and have not had the opportunity to observe normal child rearing.
In some of the early poverty programs funded under OEO, Indian tribes asked for funds to train their teenagers to be parents because they didn’t know what it was like because they had been away in boarding school.
For example, in
Dropout rates have dramatically been reduced in the Busby school on
In terms of the emotional needs, I think perhaps one of the most central things to the emotional life of the Indian family and the Indian child, is to remove from that family the threat that their children will be taken away from them. I think this is the most dangerous aspect. It has a far greater impact on Indian emotional life than any other single factor.
I think that in societies throughout the
I think it’s a copout when people say it’s poverty that’s causing family breakdown. I think perhaps the chief thing is the detribalization and the deculturalization, Federal and State and local efforts to make Indians white. It hasn’t worked and it will never work and one of the most vicious forms of trying to do this is to take their children. Those are the great emotional risks to Indian families.