Murt and Murlyn McCluskey at Cut Bank Indian Boarding School in Browning, Montana in 1945.

Native Author Discusses Adventures in an Indian Boarding School

ICTMN Staff
12/4/12

M.L. McCluskey, or Murt, as he prefers to be called, graduated from the Cut Bank Indian Boarding School in Browning, Montana after eighth grade.

His 136-page book, The McCluskey Boys: Adventures in an Indian Boarding School, tells the tale of the time he and his brother Murlyn spent at the federally run boarding school.

“Although the experiences of many of these students were somewhat sad, challenging, and often times very traumatic, most found ways to adapt and survive,” says the book information at MccluskeyBoys.Homestead.com. “It should also be remembered that several of the activities, incidents and ordeals in the book were experienced by many of the kids. They were not purely exclusive to the McCluskey boys.”

Murt, who was born and raised on the Blackfeet Reservation in northern Montana, published his book in February and gave a reading and signing on December 1 in Great Falls, Montana.

When asked by KPAX-TV what he hoped people would gain by reading the book he said, “More knowledge about Native American history and culture and education, and also to have an idea of what’s happening with Native American students today.”

After graduating from Cut Bank, Murt attended Fort Totten High School in Fort Totten, North Dakota. He and his brother then joined the Navy. After he was discharged, Murt attended Northern Montana College where he earned his two-year teaching certificate, and then his bachelor’s and master’s degree while also teaching at Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation and Havre Public Schools, both in Montana.

Murt went to the University of North Dakota’s Center for Teaching and Learning to earn his doctorate in education. His 30-year career spanned teaching, coaching and administration.

Murt McCluskey, author of "The McCluskey Boys: Adventures in an Indian Boarding School."

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Murton served on the Indian Policy Board for the Research and Development Program for Indian Education at the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory in Portland for many, many years. Always enjoyed his humor and camaraderie. You could always tell when Dr. Murt was going to lean back in his chair and spin a yarn..."well, boys, it was this way..." and off he'd go!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
My grandfather went to Sherman Indian school in Riverside, CA, he told us that he ran away from the school and the BIA hunted him down found him and his brother and sent them back to the school. He and his brother ran away again and changed their names. How terrible it must have been at that school for them to run away and change their names just so the federal government would not find them.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I don't remember the white hair but you have got to be my old Navy Corpsman buddy from Barstow days!!!! Let me hear from you, Bill Walton bogiew@live.com
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