Native American charter
school finds home on Indian
Condensed by Native Village
New Mexico: When a girl from Laguna pueblo left home to attend Albuquerque Indian School in the 1940s, she felt robbed her of her identity.
“In five years the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the school had successfully Americanized me (to) the English language and the ways of white-America as it tried to strip me of my own language, my heritage, my culture and my dress,” she wrote in her journal.
Albuquerque Indian School opened in 1881 and closed in the 1980s. The controversial school was among 60 Indian schools created by the federal government to assimilate Native American youth into "modern" society. These schools served over 6,000 students. Many youth were forced to attend against their will.
This year, a building on the Albuquerque Indian School campus opened with a new mission -- to serve Native American students as a free charter school. And it opened with a new name: the Native American Community Academy.
Nearly 380 students in grades
6-12 are now attending classes
in Building 232, the only AIS
School officials say that
starting afresh on AIS grounds
represents a chance for
All Academy students are Native American with ties to 40 - 50 pueblos and tribes. Some students will be shuttled or bused in from around Albuquerque; others will commute from neighboring pueblos.
Village © Gina Boltz
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