Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/122

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How Indians Graduate from Carlisle

��AC'iAYLY decorated platform on which are seated the graduates, faculty, speaker and other invited guests; a lengthy program of music, orations and addresses, probably all cut to order and sugar-coated for the occa- sion; an award of sheepskins and a benediction — this, in brief, constitutes the stereotyped graduation ceremony of most colleges and schools.

But there is one school which has a different commencement. It is the United States Indian Industrial School at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Its twelve hundred students are children of Amer- ica's original people, and the institution is the largest industrial school in the country. Until recently commencement activities followed closely the lines of the average college exercises, with ora- tions and addresses scheduled by instruc- tors in close keeping with the academic part of the school's work.

Today commencement at the Carlisle school is unlike any other. Graduation day is a day of proof as well as showing, for the Indian girl or boy not only tells

��what she or he has done, but actually shows how each has succeeded. This event is held in the school's immense gymnasium and audiences of ten thou- sand people and more from all parts of the United States attend. At the door you are met by a polite Indian usher, spick and span in a school uniform of blue and gold. He finds you a comfort- able seat and a program. You look about but see no person in charge of the activities. Over in one end of the gymnasium you hear whispers. Sitting there are sev'eral hundred little Indian girls and boys of the short dress and knee-breeches age. The school band of fifty pieces is on a low platform at one end of the room. When the hall is full, a low whistle is heard at the entrance, and then the band breaks into a martial air and into the room troop the upper classes, each headed b>' its banner carrier. The rear is brought up by the graduates. Presently all ha\e found their places. The platform is yet unoccupied, and there is apparently no leader for the afternoon's event. From

���Indian girls are given a thorough course in sewing. At graduation they prove that their knowledge can be appUcd in a practical manner

���A demonstration in plumbing is conducted as part of the graduation exercises. One student explains the proceedings while others do tin- actual work


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