A few months after the Indian School began operating in Forest Grove, a photographer from the Davidson Studio in Portland came to take pictures. Perhaps inspired by similar images taken at the Carlisle School in Pennslyvania, the photographer arranged the students in poses that highlighted how they were assimilating white culture.
The series shows how the school taught the children to behave according to the norms of white society, including training in vocational skills such as shoemaking, blacksmithing, and carpentry. Some of these photographs were reproduced in a popular national magazine, Harper's Weekly, in 1882.
Recommended reading for interpreting these photographs: Margolis, Eric. "Looking at discipline, looking at labour: photographic representations of Indian boarding schools." Visual Studies 19:1 (2004), p. 72-96.