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Forum Home - Go Back > General > Native Life > Native Issues A.I.M. Survival School A.I.M. Survival School

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Old 02-07-2015, 12:47 PM   #1
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A.I.M. Survival School

I have a question, if I may. I don't mean this to be a political question - 'cause this White boy churazchit don't have anything to say about that.

I know there was (is?) the AIM Heart of the Earth survival school up in Mpls. And maybe another one somewhere else? I understand the idea of schools "for NDNs by NDNs." My question is basically, what is a survival school? And how does it differ from other schools?

I'm just kind of curious.
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Old 02-07-2015, 05:16 PM   #2
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I don't know about A.I.M. survival school, but I survived a B.I.A. boarding school.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:49 PM   #3
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"It is a great mistake to suppose that the Red Man is hungering for the White Man’s culture, eager to take it if it is offered to him. The ignorant are never hungry for education, nor the vicious for morality, nor the barbaric for civilization; educators have to create the appetite as well as furnish the food. "

-- Rev. Lyman Abbott, Sixth Lake Mohonk Conference of Friends of the Indians, 1888


“In Indian civilization I am a Baptist, because I believe in immersing the Indians in our civilization and when we get them under holding them there until they are thoroughly soaked.”

-- Capt. William Henry Pratt, founder of Carlisle Indian Industrial School


Recall education was used as an alternative to physical annihilation of Native people. After the Civil War the country many of abolitionist reformers turned their attention to the battlefields of Manifest Destiny. They purposed education as a moral and economic alternative to extermination. The purpose of the classroom was to win the war without spilling more blood.

As I'm sure you know, the schools were engines of assimilation -- just as they were for immigrant children. Prior to the 1928 Meriam Report and the 1934 Indian New Deal, the education was frankly intended to eradicate Native Culture. From a serial appearing in the Indian Helper, the house organ of Carlisle Indian Industrial School:


…I tossed and turned from one side of my hard bed to the other, thinking one minute that schools were a good thing for the Indians and the next moment thinking they were not.

"Yes, they are of use, especially those far away from our homes," I concluded.

"I never in the world would have learned to be disgusted at this way of living, had I not been taken clear away from it, where I could not see it, nor hear anything about it, for years. And so some people think for that very reason, schools away from home are not so good as schools at home. They think we ought to stay near to this. All this dirt. I suppose they think it is good enough for us. Thank God, however, there are some people who think we should have as good a chance as children of other races."

"I am thankful I had a chance to get away from this if only for a little while."

"We must learn to feel disgust for these things. If we have no disgust for them we will never try to make them better. We MUST be disgusted, I say, and I am thoroughly disgusted this moment at the way the Indians live, if this is the way they live…."

-- Marianna Burgess, "How an Indian Girl Might Tell Her Own Story If She Had a Chance, Indian Helper, Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Oct 4, 1889. (Republished as a novel under the title Stiya.)


Half a century later, the system paid lip service to Indian culture but still was intended to prepare the Indian for taking on the role of a wage laborer in the dominant culture. From a bilingual reader that was in use in the era my mother attended elementary school:


"…Then the boy knew what it meant to be Lakota. It meant to be brave against the enemy whether that enemy was Red man or White man or the forces of nature. It meant to be brave in the acceptance of change. His people always had changed, slowly but surely, when the necessity of change so demanded.

It meant to be brave enough to do what one thought was right. It meant to be brave enough to choose a new trail or a new way. The boy stood up. He must make a decision. He must make it slowly and make it for all time. …[A]nswering the question, "Which is the brave thing to do and which is merely the easier way?"

Should he bow to the ancient tradition (hanbleceya) because he loved his grandfather? Should he discard the ancient tradition because the need for it was gone?

Slowly the boy walked toward the cabin. He made his decision. He knew what he must do.

All of life is a battlefield, a hunting ground, a rangeland, or deeper still, the redesigning of the pattern of the old life to fit the new. All of life is a battlefield and the only weapon that never rusts is courage."

--Ann Nolan Clark, Brave Against the Enemy, US Dept of the Interior, Branch of Indian Education, 1944, p203-205.


Not much different, is it?

The children of these BIA schools or non-Indian schools -- that had us cooking for Pilgrims and terrorizing innocent settlers, all while we stood athwart the path of progress -- were the parents of the 1960's and '70's. They remembered the shame and feelings of worthlessness that a sizeable portion experienced in schools, which tried to fit everyone into one dominant culture mold. They watched their youth face the same system and fail. They decided the system must be at fault and had to be changed.

The purpose of these schools was to offer the most at risk an alternative under which they might gain necessary educational skills. This was done with a Native centered curriculum. So, there was instruction in the 3 R's, but also history lessons that didn't produce cognitive dissonance, native languages, arts, so on.

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Old 02-07-2015, 11:56 PM   #4
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I think the American Indian Movement (A.I.M.) survival school would indicate that the young natives usually boys and some girls can learn how to survive in the bush like fishing, trapping line, weaving, making beads, making tipii or wigwam including making sweat ceremony wigwams, painting including sculpturing arts and any other tools in the old ways. They can learn to travel in their canoes going down the river to any destination. The Natives can learn this way with the help of Native elders who knows about survival in the old days. There are many ways they can learn and respect Mother Earth.

We don't have to protest our rights against police and other government authorities unless if we have to stand up for our rights.

If you live on the reservation like in Minnesota, then they can survive on what they can live on like food (they can learn to cook venison and rabbit stew including corn soups and frybread, etc) and woods to build for arts, fire and building a cabin) instead of going to the modern stores to buy products which they need to get.

I hope I make myself clear to you.
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeafElderWoman View Post
I think the American Indian Movement (A.I.M.) survival school would indicate that the young natives usually boys and some girls can learn how to survive in the bush like fishing, trapping line, weaving, making beads, making tipii or wigwam including making sweat ceremony wigwams, painting including sculpturing arts and any other tools in the old ways. They can learn to travel in their canoes going down the river to any destination. The Natives can learn this way with the help of Native elders who knows about survival in the old days. There are many ways they can learn and respect Mother Earth.

We don't have to protest our rights against police and other government authorities unless if we have to stand up for our rights.

If you live on the reservation like in Minnesota, then they can survive on what they can live on like food (they can learn to cook venison and rabbit stew including corn soups and frybread, etc) and woods to build for arts, fire and building a cabin) instead of going to the modern stores to buy products which they need to get.

I hope I make myself clear to you.
So , do you know this to be true or are you "speculating" ?

The O.P. was asking a specific question , looking for a correct answer , not speculation.
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:16 PM   #6
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Possibly of interest:

Survival Schools by J. Davis
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Old 02-10-2015, 03:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for y'all's answers.

I've heard of the Carlisle Indian School, of course, but "heard of" is all; I know nothing about it. I checked out its digital resource center. I've read some snippets of articles from The Red Man there. Very interesting. I'm looking forward to checking out the site and the digital resources there in more detail.

I was just about to place an order on amazon anyway. So I went ahead and added the Julie Davis book to my order. Looking forward to its arrival.
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Old 02-13-2015, 01:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDNKJ View Post
I have a question, if I may. I don't mean this to be a political question - 'cause this White boy churazchit don't have anything to say about that.

I know there was (is?) the AIM Heart of the Earth survival school up in Mpls. And maybe another one somewhere else? I understand the idea of schools "for NDNs by NDNs." My question is basically, what is a survival school? And how does it differ from other schools?

I'm just kind of curious.
there was heart of the earth survival school in minneap, which closed in 2008. and it wasn't called aim school, though it was founded by aim members, along with red school house in st. paul.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OLChemist View Post
"It is a great mistake to suppose that the Red Man is hungering for the White Man’s culture, eager to take it if it is offered to him. The ignorant are never hungry for education, nor the vicious for morality, nor the barbaric for civilization; educators have to create the appetite as well as furnish the food. "

-- Rev. Lyman Abbott, Sixth Lake Mohonk Conference of Friends of the Indians, 1888


“In Indian civilization I am a Baptist, because I believe in immersing the Indians in our civilization and when we get them under holding them there until they are thoroughly soaked.”

-- Capt. William Henry Pratt, founder of Carlisle Indian Industrial School


Recall education was used as an alternative to physical annihilation of Native people. After the Civil War the country many of abolitionist reformers turned their attention to the battlefields of Manifest Destiny. They purposed education as a moral and economic alternative to extermination. The purpose of the classroom was to win the war without spilling more blood.

As I'm sure you know, the schools were engines of assimilation -- just as they were for immigrant children. Prior to the 1928 Meriam Report and the 1934 Indian New Deal, the education was frankly intended to eradicate Native Culture. From a serial appearing in the Indian Helper, the house organ of Carlisle Indian Industrial School:


…I tossed and turned from one side of my hard bed to the other, thinking one minute that schools were a good thing for the Indians and the next moment thinking they were not.

"Yes, they are of use, especially those far away from our homes," I concluded.

"I never in the world would have learned to be disgusted at this way of living, had I not been taken clear away from it, where I could not see it, nor hear anything about it, for years. And so some people think for that very reason, schools away from home are not so good as schools at home. They think we ought to stay near to this. All this dirt. I suppose they think it is good enough for us. Thank God, however, there are some people who think we should have as good a chance as children of other races."

"I am thankful I had a chance to get away from this if only for a little while."

"We must learn to feel disgust for these things. If we have no disgust for them we will never try to make them better. We MUST be disgusted, I say, and I am thoroughly disgusted this moment at the way the Indians live, if this is the way they live…."

-- Marianna Burgess, "How an Indian Girl Might Tell Her Own Story If She Had a Chance, Indian Helper, Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Oct 4, 1889. (Republished as a novel under the title Stiya.)


Half a century later, the system paid lip service to Indian culture but still was intended to prepare the Indian for taking on the role of a wage laborer in the dominant culture. From a bilingual reader that was in use in the era my mother attended elementary school:


"…Then the boy knew what it meant to be Lakota. It meant to be brave against the enemy whether that enemy was Red man or White man or the forces of nature. It meant to be brave in the acceptance of change. His people always had changed, slowly but surely, when the necessity of change so demanded.

It meant to be brave enough to do what one thought was right. It meant to be brave enough to choose a new trail or a new way. The boy stood up. He must make a decision. He must make it slowly and make it for all time. …[A]nswering the question, "Which is the brave thing to do and which is merely the easier way?"

Should he bow to the ancient tradition (hanbleceya) because he loved his grandfather? Should he discard the ancient tradition because the need for it was gone?

Slowly the boy walked toward the cabin. He made his decision. He knew what he must do.

All of life is a battlefield, a hunting ground, a rangeland, or deeper still, the redesigning of the pattern of the old life to fit the new. All of life is a battlefield and the only weapon that never rusts is courage."

--Ann Nolan Clark, Brave Against the Enemy, US Dept of the Interior, Branch of Indian Education, 1944, p203-205.


Not much different, is it?

The children of these BIA schools or non-Indian schools -- that had us cooking for Pilgrims and terrorizing innocent settlers, all while we stood athwart the path of progress -- were the parents of the 1960's and '70's. They remembered the shame and feelings of worthlessness that a sizeable portion experienced in schools, which tried to fit everyone into one dominant culture mold. They watched their youth face the same system and fail. They decided the system must be at fault and had to be changed.

The purpose of these schools was to offer the most at risk an alternative under which they might gain necessary educational skills. This was done with a Native centered curriculum. So, there was instruction in the 3 R's, but also history lessons that didn't produce cognitive dissonance, native languages, arts, so on.
nailed it as usual chemist!

there was the basic subjects as you pointed out in the last paragraph, and an example of the point made in your first paragraph would be when the science teacher, frustrated with a disruptive student asked him if "he knew the such and such of whatever he was trying to teach us that day?" (i wasn't paying attention either lol) to which the student replied "no. do you know how to make a drum?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeafElderWoman View Post
I think the American Indian Movement (A.I.M.) survival school would indicate that the young natives usually boys and some girls can learn how to survive in the bush like fishing, trapping line, weaving, making beads, making tipii or wigwam including making sweat ceremony wigwams, painting including sculpturing arts and any other tools in the old ways. They can learn to travel in their canoes going down the river to any destination. The Natives can learn this way with the help of Native elders who knows about survival in the old days. There are many ways they can learn and respect Mother Earth.

We don't have to protest our rights against police and other government authorities unless if we have to stand up for our rights.

If you live on the reservation like in Minnesota, then they can survive on what they can live on like food (they can learn to cook venison and rabbit stew including corn soups and frybread, etc) and woods to build for arts, fire and building a cabin) instead of going to the modern stores to buy products which they need to get.

I hope I make myself clear to you.
heart of the earth did provide a connection to elders and teachers, mainly ojibwe and lakota, for inner city kids who otherwise wouldnt have an opportunity to learn and experience some of the things you mentioned, except for the hunting and fishing part, it wasn't that kind of survival lol
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Old 02-13-2015, 04:42 PM   #9
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:16 PM   #10
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I know I can't learn much from the previous 2 generations on how to survive in the woods. They didn't live that way. We're farmers.

I learned it because my mom told me to. We became preppers for the Y2K scare. At that time, we didn't have any land, and my family is not currently enrolled with our tribes*. So we couldn't move to the reservations. We stockpiled enough beans and flour and corn for 2 years, and it was my job to learn to survive. My brother learned how to protect our electronics. I devoured books on the subjects at the library and taught myself how to make bows and arrows, shelters, tanning, gardening, etc... Thing is, after the scare was over, I never quit. So now I can go back to the land given a moment's notice. I can even make cast steel matchlock guns in the wild given enough spare time, clay, trees, and red dirt; starting from stone tools and working my way up the chain to the european middle ages. I didn't learn survival from AIM, but I did learn it, and you can do the same. Just float around the prepper sites and ignore their doomsday nonsense and conspiracy crap.


*There are multiple tribes when you get into my stepdad's side of the family.
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:47 PM   #11
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I ran across these while researching another subject in the MSU archives:

Survival School Flyer - p1

Survival School Flyer - p2
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