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. http://watch.montanapbs.org/video/1430384159/
  • Miller, J.R.. "Residential Schools". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Toronto: Historica Canada, 2012. Web. 11 Oct 2012. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/residential-schools/
  • Flowers, Darryl L. “Fort Shaw Celebrates Sesquicentennial On Sunday.” Fairfield Sun Times. 8/8/2017. http://www.fairfieldsuntimes.com/news/article_e57e4492-7c87-11e7-8af9-0f3b2c6ed460.html
  • Nasmith, James. “Dr. James Naismith's Original 13 Rules of Basketball.” https://www.usab.com/history/dr-james-naismiths-original-13-rules-of-basketball.aspx
  • Springfield College. “Where Basketball was Invented: The Birthplace of Basketball.” https://springfield.edu/where-basketball-was-invented-the-birthplace-of-basketball
  • Missouri Digital Heritage. “Louisiana Purchase Exposition: The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.” https://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/mdh_splash/default.asp?coll=muellis
  • Missouri Historical Society. “The 1904 Worlds’ Fair: Looking Back at Looking Forward.” http://mohistory.org/exhibits/Fair/WF/HTML/Overview/page3.html
  • Allen, Greg. “'Living Exhibits' at 1904 World's Fair Revisited.” NPR. 5/31/2004. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1909651
  • University of Delaware Library Special Collections Department. “Progress Made Visible: Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, 1904.” http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/exhibits/fairs/louis.htm
  • Montana Women’s History Project. “Champions: The Girls of Fort Shaw.” 4/3/2014. http://montanawomenshistory.org/champions/
  • McNeel, Jack. “Before Schimmel: The Indian Women Who Became Basketball Champions.” Indian Country Today. 10/27/2013. https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/history/events/before-schimmel-the-indian-women-who-became-basketball-champions/
  • Farrell, Brenna. “Photos: Before and After Carlisle.” Radiolab. 1/29/2015. http://www.radiolab.org/story/photos-before-and-after-carlisle/
  • Marr, Carolyn J. “Assimilation Through Education: Indian Boarding Schools in the Pacific Northwest.” University of Washington. https://content.lib.washington.edu/aipnw/marr.html
  • 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. http://montanawomenshistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Peavy-Linda-and-Ursula-Smith-World-Champions.pdf
  • 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. http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/4929/
  • Bear, Charla. “American Indian School a Far Cry from the Past.” Morning Edition. 5/13/2008. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17645287
  • Bear, Charla. “American Indian Boarding Schools Haunt Many.” Morning Edition. 5/12/2008. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16516865
  • Pember, Mary Annette. “When Will U.S. Apologize for Boarding School Genocide?.” Indian Country Today. 6/20/2015. https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/news/first-nations/when-will-us-apologize-for-boarding-school-genocide/
  • PBS. “Indian Country Diaries.” http://www.pbs.org/indiancountry/history/
  • 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, Native American history, 20th century, 19th century, Fort Shaw basketball