From Indianz.com, here. An excerpt:
“It’s hard to forgive,” said a Lakota Episcopal elder from the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation with his voice wavering. Tears sprang to my eyes as he shared his story of being punished for speaking Lakota as a child in a Catholic boarding school.
I knew this was a deep pain this elder had rarely shared. His experience is one I’ve heard from many people in many places. There were 500 Indian boarding schools in 18 states administered by several denominations beginning in 1819, and as late as 1973, called the Indian Boarding School Era.Shame is in the midst of the entire boarding school experience and remains in today’s contemporary context.
The message the elders received at the hands of administrators and sometimes even older native youth, whether the school was government-run or church-run, was that it was shameful to be an “Indian”.
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