Chippeway Herald

Chippeway herald (White Earth, Minn.) 1902-1909 Browse the title

The Chippeway Herald was the official newspaper of the White Earth Boarding School, located on the White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota. The name "Chippeway" referred to the tribal nation residing on the reservation; Chippeway or Chippewa were used commonly during that time period to refer to the Ojibwe or Anishinaabe people, which are now the preferred terms.

The Chippeway Herald was established by Simon Michelet, the United States Indian Agent at the White Earth Reservation. Oscar H. Lipps, superintendent of the White Earth Boarding School, served as the first editor. The paper debuted in January of 1902 and was published monthly during the academic school year. Established in 1871, the White Earth Boarding School was the first of sixteen boarding schools in Minnesota and one among 367 known in the United States. The purpose of the schools was to assimilate Native Americans into "mainstream" society by removing Native children from their families and cultures.

The Herald was one of many Indian boarding school newspapers with a controlled narrative. The purpose of these newspapers was two-fold: to assimilate students through English literacy and technology, and to satisfy interested parties such as lumber companies and white settlers. Students of the school were tasked to print the issues, which were four to eight pages with three columns of content, headed with the slogan "Education, Civilization and Citizenship." In the inaugural issue, the Herald stated its intention to publish "practical ideas from superintendents and teachers of other Indian the interest of Indian education." No "stale news and routine happenings…," "'dead and down' timber controversies...," or "'Indian politics'" would be printed. Issues included stories that stressed the importance and advantages of "civilization." Local and school news and poetry was also featured.

April of 1903 marked the debut of the Tomahawk, the other newspaper published in White Earth, Minnesota. Relations between the newspapers were cordial, each referring to the other as their "esteemed contemporary." The two debated the appropriate level of education of Native American students. An article in the October 1903 issue of the Herald entitled "What Shall We Teach?" argued that only a "common" education prepares Native students "for the daily battles of life." An article entitled "He has ability for more" in the October 8, 1903, issue of the Tomahawk countered that a higher education is necessary for Native students to compete with white people.

William R. Davis replaced Lipps as superintendent and editor in February of 1904. The Herald was temporarily suspended in the fall of 1906. Leonidas L. Geon then replaced Davis, and in January of 1907 revived the newspaper. Geon continued as editor until the Herald folded, likely after the 1908-1909 school year. Pictures of the reservation including the boarding school can be found in the May/June 1909 issue.