American Indian boarding schools, which operated in Minnesota and across the United States beginning in the late nineteenth century, represent a dark chapter in U.S. history. Also called industrial schools, these institutions prepared boys for manual labor and farming and girls for domestic work. The boarding school, whether on or off a reservation, carried out the government's mission to restructure Indians' minds and personalities by severing children’s physical, cultural, and spiritual connections to their tribes.
A cradleboard made by Hope Two Hearts and Galen Drapeau (Isanti and Ihanktonwan Dakota, respectively), c.1980. The cradleboard, which won best traditional art at the Sante Fe Indian Market Show, was originally made for Hanhepi Maniwin. An image of her in this cradleboard was featured in promotional materials for Hope and Galen's business, the Elk's Camp Society.