David Brown

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Jon Holtzman

Second Advisor

Dr. Bilinda Straight

Third Advisor

Dr. Jose Brandoa


Native American, boarding school, photography, Mount Pleasant, MI, assimilation

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This project is designed to study the culture of Native American boarding schools through the visual domain of photography. I have chosen the Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School, located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan as a case study. I specifically examine how photographs depict themes of Native American student assimilation, domestic care and order, living conditions, communication, ethnic composition, and resistance. There has been very little written on the history and culture of the boarding school in Mount Pleasant, much less any analysis that has been done with the photographs. I am combining the available written and visual materials of the school to analyze six aspects of its culture.

Included in

Anthropology Commons