06 Feb President Emeritus of BSC and former NDUS interim chancellor selects writings of Indian school educators for publication
Dr. Larry C. Skogen, president emeritus of Bismarck State College (BSC) and former North Dakota University System (NDUS) interim chancellor, recently published To Educate American Indians, which presents the most complete versions of papers presented at the National Educational Association’s Department of Indian Education meetings in the early 1900s.
“This is important work to enhance the body of knowledge on behalf of Indian Country and our future generations,” said Leander “Russ” McDonald (Dakota/Arikara), president of United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota.
The publication explores a time when the debate about how best to “civilize” Indigenous populations dominated discussions, and differing philosophies drove the conversation. For a decade, educators gathered at annual meetings and presented papers on how best to educate Native students. Though the NEA proceedings published these papers, strict guidelines often meant they were heavily edited before publication. In this volume, Skogen presents many of these unedited papers and gives them historical context for the years 1900 to 1904.
“People are beginning to learn about the terrible conditions at Indian boarding schools. With this book, I tell the early twentieth century history of educators who worked at those schools and then with their papers I let them tell us—in their own words—what they thought about Native students. It’s a disturbing history that needs to be told,” Skogen said.
Skogen is now an independent historian, following his service as president of BSC from 2007-13 and 2015-20, as well as interim NDUS chancellor from 2013-15, and a retired member of the U.S. Air Force. In addition, he is the author of Indian Depredation Claims, 1796–1920.