Basketball Comes to Fort Shaw Indian School (pt. 1)

Members of the Fort Shaw Indian School girls' basketball team. From left to right front: Genie Butch, Belle Johnson, Emma Sansaver. Back: Nettie Wirth, temporary coach Jesse McCallum, Katie Snell, Minnie Burton. Frank A. Behymer. Missouri History Museum. Public domain.

The Fort Shaw Indian School was part of a boarding school system designed to make Native American students conform to white culture. In a surprising twist, it also boasted a champion women’s basketball team.

Please excuse Tracy's error: Basketball was first developed in Springfield, Massachusetts, not Springfield, Connecticut.

Tracy's Research:

  • Twiggs, John, director. “Playing for the World.” Co-produced by Alison Perkins. Narrated by Tantoo Cardinal. Montana PBS.
  • Miller, J.R.. "Residential Schools". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Toronto: Historica Canada, 2012. Web. 11 Oct 2012.
  • Flowers, Darryl L. “Fort Shaw Celebrates Sesquicentennial On Sunday.” Fairfield Sun Times. 8/8/2017.
  • Nasmith, James. “Dr. James Naismith's Original 13 Rules of Basketball.”
  • Springfield College. “Where Basketball was Invented: The Birthplace of Basketball.”
  • Missouri Digital Heritage. “Louisiana Purchase Exposition: The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.”
  • Missouri Historical Society. “The 1904 Worlds’ Fair: Looking Back at Looking Forward.”
  • Allen, Greg. “'Living Exhibits' at 1904 World's Fair Revisited.” NPR. 5/31/2004.
  • University of Delaware Library Special Collections Department. “Progress Made Visible: Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, 1904.”
  • Montana Women’s History Project. “Champions: The Girls of Fort Shaw.” 4/3/2014.
  • McNeel, Jack. “Before Schimmel: The Indian Women Who Became Basketball Champions.” Indian Country Today. 10/27/2013.
  • Farrell, Brenna. “Photos: Before and After Carlisle.” Radiolab. 1/29/2015.
  • Marr, Carolyn J. “Assimilation Through Education: Indian Boarding Schools in the Pacific Northwest.” University of Washington.
  • Peavey, Linda and Ursula Smith. “World Champions: The 1904 Girls’ Basketball Team from Fort Shaw Indian Boarding School.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History. Winter 2001.
  • Official Report of the Nineteenth Annual Conference of Charities and Correction (1892), 46–59. Reprinted in Richard H. Pratt, “The Advantages of Mingling Indians with Whites,” Americanizing the American Indians: Writings by the “Friends of the Indian” 1880–1900 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1973), 260–271.
  • Bear, Charla. “American Indian School a Far Cry from the Past.” Morning Edition. 5/13/2008.
  • Bear, Charla. “American Indian Boarding Schools Haunt Many.” Morning Edition. 5/12/2008.
  • Pember, Mary Annette. “When Will U.S. Apologize for Boarding School Genocide?.” Indian Country Today. 6/20/2015.
  • PBS. “Indian Country Diaries.”
  • Peavy, Linda and Ursula Smith. “Full-court Quest: The Girls from Fort Shaw Indian School Basketball Champions of the World.” University of Oklahoma Press: Norman. 2008.

Topics in this Podcast: racism, sports history, entertainment history, basketball, Fort Shaw Indian School, American Indian boarding schools, Native American history, 20th century, 19th century, Fort Shaw basketball