Saint Benedict’s Industrial School (Saint Joseph, MN)
Saint Benedict's Industrial School was established in 1884, when the Sisters contracted with the U.S. government, through the Catholic Indian Bureau, for support of 30 girls. Pupils were taught academic subjects such as reading, spelling, grammar, penmanship, arithmetic, geography, and history. They also received instruction in sewing, ornamental needlework, cooking, baking, laundry, gardening and dairy-work. The 1887 catalog described the aim of the school as “the mental and moral training of Indian girls for that position in life, which they will be required to fill, namely to give them a Christian and polite education and to teach them all that is necessary for a woman to know of house-keeping and such like female duties.” Federal funding ceased in 1896. The school remained open for two more years but then closed due to lack of funds.
Department of Interior communication
St. Benedict’s Industrial school at St Benedict’s Academy
Industrial School St. Joseph
Students from White Earth
For more information about Saint Benedict’s Indian School, see
MacDonald, G. (1957). With lamps burning.
St. Joseph, Minn.: St. Benedict’s Priory Press
Reichert, T. (2005). “Red Lake, White Earth, and ‘Blackgowns’: the Indian Industrial Schools of St. John’s Abbey and St. Benedict’s Monastery, 1884-1896”. Honors Thesis.