This week on Interchange, host Doug Storm speaks with Christina Snyder, an associate professor in the Departments of American Studies and History at Indiana University. Snyder’s scholarship focuses on Native North America and on the histories of colonialism and slavery. She is the author of Slavery in Indian Country: The Changing Face of Captivity in Early America. Snyder instructs us about Choctaw Academy, the first national Indian boarding school in the United States. Open from 1825 to 1848, the school was located on the plantation of prominent politician Richard Mentor Johnson. During Choctaw Academy’s lifespan, the United States transitioned from an east-coast nation to a continental power. The story of Choctaw Academy reveals how the emerging U.S. empire developed a tandem approach, violence and acculturation, to exert economic, political, and cultural influence far beyond even its extensive territory, and the complex ways in which colonized people met these challenges.
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