Buried Secrets: America’s Indian Boarding Schools – Reveal

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Buried Secrets: America’s Indian Boarding Schools Part 1

Stairs lead to the basement of Drexel Hall at the Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Some community members want the basement to be searched for unmarked graves. Credit: Mary Annette Pember/ICT

In a two-part collaboration with ICT (formerly Indian Country Today), we expose the painful legacy of boarding schools for Native children.  Listen to part two here.

These schools were part of a federal program designed to destroy Native culture and spirituality, with the stated goal to “kill the Indian and save the man.” ICT reporter Mary Annette Pember, a citizen of the Red Cliff Band of Ojibwe, explores the role the Catholic Church played in creating U.S. policy toward Native people and takes us to the Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Under pressure from the community, the school has launched a truth and healing program and is helping to reintroduce traditional culture to its students. 

… AND …

Buried Secrets: America’s Indian Boarding Schools Part 2

A Catholic boarding school on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is seeking forgiveness for its troubled history. But school survivors want justice first.

ICT reporter Mary Annette Pember, a citizen of the Red Cliff Band of Ojibwe, visits Red Cloud Indian School, which has launched a truth and healing initiative for former students and their descendants. A youth-led activist group called the International Indigenous Youth Council has created a list of demands that includes financial reparations and the return of tribal land. The group also wants the Catholic Church to open up its records about the school’s past, especially information about children who may have died there. 

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