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Research Proposal

meerajay's picture

Research Question

How does the school-to-prison pipeline affect American Indians today, especially regarding their educational history?

I became interested in American Indian issues when I took a literature class called American Girl last Fall. It was there that I learned the impacts of the Carlisle Indian schools, which aimed to assimilate young American Indians into white mainstream American life, on American Indian communities. When it comes to the prison industrial complex and the school to prison pipeline (two highly charged phrases that can have multiple meanings) American Indian communities can often be overlooked, and after doing initial research, I was surprised to find that the rate at which American Indians are incarcerated, though not as high as black people in America, is nevertheless far greater than whites and Asians. In the past, I have done research papers on the original Indian schools, but have not yet had a chance to trace their historical beginnings into contemporary American life, where the Bureau of Indian Affairs still exists, in part through the reservation system, and controls over one hundred public schools in America.

 Flanagin, Jake. "Native Americans Are the Unseen Victims of a Broken US Justice System." Quartz. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2015. <>.

This is a short article that sums up a lot of information, especially statistical, about American Indians’ rate of incarceration.

Hunt, Darek. "BIA's Impact on Indian Education Is an Education in Bad Education Read More at Http://" Indian Country., 30 Jan. 2012. Web. <>.

This article is a longer case study on the impact of the BIA on Indian education. I want to connect this with historical experiences of the Indian Boarding schools and observe the way that things have changed and not changed between the two.

Katanski, Amelia. Learning to Write "Indian": The Boarding-school Experience and American Indian Literature. N.p.: U of Oklahoma, 2005. Print.

I plan on using this book as a resource for better understanding the dehumanization of the Indian boarding schools. Much of what those students went through, in terms of cultural cleansing and mistreatment, can be compared to the treatment of incarcerated people today.

"Native American History and Culture: Boarding Schools - American Indian Relief Council." Native American History and Culture: Boarding Schools - American Indian Relief Council. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2015. <>.

Another article summarizing the effects of the Carlisle boarding schools and how it impacted young Indian children’s lives when they were placed back on the plantation.