The Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center (CNMCC) is opening a new exhibition titled Fort Sill Indian School – The Boarding School Experience. It will be on display at the museum September 30, 2010 through April 30, 2011. The opening of the exhibit also kicks off the start of the 19th annual Comanche Nation Fair.
The exhibit was conceived, developed, and organized by CNMCC staff and consists of photographs and memorabilia. Fort Sill Indian School was opened on February 20, 1871 by an Ohio preacher and members of a Quaker organization. Thousands of Indian children were educated there.
FSIS operated with a traditional curriculum until 1936-37 when emphasis was placed on vocational subjects devoted mainly to farming and homemaking. Students attended class a half day and worked the other half.
Until the mid-1940s, FSIS students came from only 7 Oklahoma tribes: Comanche, Kiowa, Caddo, Delaware, Wichita, Apache and Kiowa-Apache. Enrollment dropped drastically by the end of World War II.