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Generational Trauma and Indian Boarding Schools

edited Carlisle_pupils.jpg
Pupils at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania circa 1900. The first of its kind, it provided a blueprint for Indian boarding schools in the United States and Canada. Many Indigenous children were subjected to physical and mental abuse during their stay. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

For more than one hundred years, thousands of Native American children were taken from their homes and sent to residential Indian schools in the United States and Canada, to forcibly assimilate them into white culture.

Indigenous advocate Jennifer Night Bird Miller describes cruelties they endured and what she hopes for as the U.S. moves toward understanding this painful past.

“The US citizens need to know and acknowledge that these atrocities have occurred and the people are still here. And in order for us to heal, we need acknowledgment.”

Plus -- Sandi Cianciulli and Mary Ann Robins from the Carlisle Indian School Project, located just 90 miles northwest of Baltimore, tell us how they hope to memorialize young lives lost.

Links: Washington Post Op Ed by Deb Haaland, Carlisle Indian School Project, Map of locations of US Native American Boarding Schools, Home From School: The Children of Carlisle documentary, Secretary Haaland's plan for the Indian Boarding School Initiative investigation, Guardian video history of residential schools in Canada.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'