Otoe-Missouria Tribe


"Traditionally Otoe children watched, listened to, and imitated adults to learn the skills they needed to survive. They were expected to be keen observers of their world around them. Stories and legends told around the winter hearth by grandparents explained in easy-to-understand images the basis of Otoe beliefs, the origins of the clans, how to respect the animals, and how to treat other around them." (Schweitzer, p. 62)

Photograph of small child in rocking chairLearning was different in the government schools and in rural one-room schools. There is much documentation of the questionable aspect of the boarding school experiences--suppression of native languages; regimentation in dress, hairstyle, and behavior; inadequate and narrow academic training; insensitive teachers and corporal punishment. However, attending the Otoe School or a traditional one-room school was not necessarily a negative experience.