Alice Piper

February 12, 2023

Alice Piper was a Paiute girl residing in California who petitioned to attend the newly built white student high school, and was denied entry due to her race. Alice Piper along with other Indian children, sued the district for the right to attend. The local Indian day school only offered education up to the 5th grade level, was underfunded, and lacked many basic resources. The California Supreme Court unanimously ruled in her favor in the case, thus opening the door for herself and other Native American children to attend public schools in the state of California. Piper’s court victory became a turning point in the struggle for Native American education and ended the practice of sending Indian children who qualified for public school to separate government-run Indian day schools.