On This Day: In 1819 the United States Congress passed the Civilization Fund Act, which encouraged “benevolent societies” in providing education for Native Americans. The Act also authorized an annuity to stimulate the “civilization process” of Native peoples. The “benevolent societies” that were encouraged to educate Native peoples were Christian missions and the federal government. Federal funds were allocated to schools designed to educate Native Americans in the ways of the white man. The goal was to "civilize" Native Americans by getting rid of their traditions and customs and teaching them reading and writing in the missionary schools. This Act was the beginning of Native boarding or residential schools, which over the next 100 years forced hundreds of thousands of Native people away from their families, land, culture, and traditions.
Via Sarah LittleRedfeather Kalmanson