Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Social Work (M.S.W.)

Degree Program

School of Social Work

First Advisor

Jane Swanson


This study focused on the family history and boarding school experience of nine Native Americans in the state of Michigan. Primary questions were utilized to gain information regarding perseverance and problems still being faced as they tie to their boarding school experience. Interview participants were selected who attended the Mt. Pleasant and Holy Childhood boarding schools. These individuals reported both negative and positive recollections about their boarding school experiences. Themes were derived from the interview summaries and utilized for the analysis portion of this project. The results revealed similarities and differences between the experiences of those who attended both institutions. An extensive literature review was conducted. This thesis is designed to be useful for social workers, educators and others when implementing services and developing policy that addresses the unique challenges and strengths of Native American people.


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