Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Maike Philipsen PhD


A HISTORICAL CASE STUDY OF THE ARIKARA, HIDATSA, AND MANDAN INDIANS AT HAMPTON NORMAL AND AGRICULTURAL INSTITUTE, VIRGINIA, 1878-1911 By Nancy E. Jones-Oltjenbruns, Ph.D. A Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Virginia Commonwealth University. Virginia Commonwealth University, 2012 Director: Maike I. Philipsen, PhD Professor, School of Education Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute played a role in the education of American Indians. This facet of American Indians education was examined through the lives of Arikara, Hidatsa, and Mandan students from the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. The Three Affiliated Tribes’ students attended Hampton between 1878 and 1911. The federal government generally viewed American Indians as a problem so efforts were made to assimilate them into the majority culture. Education was a component of that process. The lack of knowledge about the Plains Indians contributed to their selection for this study. Lesser known tribes do not have a prominent place in the scholarship on 19th century Indian education. This study contributes to the literature by providing historical evidence related to the Fort Berthold Reservation students. The majority of teachers who instructed Indian students were non-Indian, but it was important for them to understand the specifics of Indian culture. Early staff at Hampton thought of themselves as civilizers, missionaries, and teachers. When the doors of Hampton opened, it was the role of staff to instruct the African American students in those skills that would allow them to advance in the White world. This was the same mandate regarding American Indians. The staff was instrumental in every aspect of American Indian education. Although Indian students including the Fort Berthold students never gained equal standing with African Americans or Whites on campus, they acquired a level of acceptance by staff and students. Views of Indian students toward staff, their education, school, and fellow students varied. There were members of the Fort Berthold Reservation who appreciated their education at Hampton, while some students did not complete their educational endeavors. Generally, Fort Berthold students learned skills that would be useful upon their return home. The Indian students felt they had an obligation to their people and that education was more than groundwork for their own prosperity. While education could provide a respectable living, the Fort Berthold Reservation students had a responsibility to teach those back on the reservation.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2012