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Women in HerStory

Women In HerStory- Diana Fletcher

Diana Fletcher

Diana’s main accomplishment was valuing and preserving her family’s history, culture and values, while, at the same time, learning to adjust and adapt to white American society. Because of ignorance, prejudice and racial hostility, the U.S. government attempted to force Black Indians, as well as all Native Americans, to reject their heritage. Because people like Diana maintained their traditions, we can now learn about their important contributions to the history of America.

Some sources say Diana attended the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in Virginia (later called the Hampton Institute), although listings of students do not reflect this. However, the history of these schools relates to her biography so we include this, and web links below.

The Hampton government boarding school was opened for Black students in 1868, with the intent of educating by training “the head, the hand, and the heart” so pupils could return to their communities as leaders and professionals among their people. In 1878, the institute opened its doors to Indians. The following year, in a grand experiment led by Capt. Richard Henry Pratt, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pennsylvannia, was opened as a way to assimilate Indians into “civilized” society, although without the intent of returning graduates to their communities.

Kiowa Indians, as well as thousands of Native Americans from many, many other tribes, did attend these schools.

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