Concho Indian School
After the forceful Indian removals from the Eastern Untied States, President Grant and others in office decided that the only way to get the Indians to settle peacefully on their new reservations that they would need to be Americanized. They would need to loose their traditional ways of thinking and living. In the eyes of the officials the Indians would in turn need to be more like the white man to survive. The Indian tribes were taught to farm rather than to hunt, children would be taught in schools and their beliefs would have to be converted into Christianity. They also would have to think of their land as belonging to oneself instead of the traditional communal ownership they were used to.
Concho Indian school was just one of the government-funded boarding schools founded in 1969 for the education of the Cheyenne’s and Arapahos in the area of Darlington. This is an area northwest of El Reno. The school that is still standing is the last of three schools that have been established here. It was a typical boarding school of it’s time. The children were taught to speak, read, and write in the English language. They were not allowed to speak in their native tongue and sometimes were punished if they did so. They were taught to change their patterns of behavior and also the way they presented themselves. Their hair was to be cut to look more like the white mans style and also to wear clothes that looked like the white mans clothes.
In addition to their studies they were taught Christianity. Although most of the Indians and the children reluctantly accepted most of the changes they tended to not accept Christianity as their religion.
The Concho Indian boarding school would close it’s doors in 1981 due to lack of funding. Now the school sits empty.