This opening stanza of the poem Indian Boarding School: The Runaways by Louise Erdrich (1984) describes the importance of and comfort with returning to one’s home, “the place we head for in our sleep.” In this poem, Erdrich describes the dreams of Native students who runaway from their boarding school experiences (for a detailed account of the culturally horrific, indeed even fatal, boarding school experiences, see Spring, 2006). But the runaways are also moving toward something: their homes where they can be culturally, socially, and spiritually nourished. Home is where the center of the soul belongs. Children of the boarding school experience recount how their time there devastated their ability to communicate and connect with their people back home. In many ways the present day experience of Native college students recalls the similar challenges of being away from family and home.
Taboo: The Journal of Culture & Education
Required Publisher's Statement
Taboo: The Journal of Culture & Education, Vol. 10, No. 2, Negotiation and Resistance amid the Overwhelming Presence of Whiteness: A Native American Faculty and Student Perspective (Fall-Winter 2006)
Jaime, Angela and Rios, Francisco, "Negotiation and Resistance amid the Overwhelming Presence of Whiteness: A Native American Faculty and Student Perspective" (2006). Woodring College of Education. Paper 17.