CODE: Finding Papers You Exist #YIPP #BadHistory

reunion Pana 1994
meeting my family the first time in 1994 (my dad Earl is on the right)

By Lara Trace (Cherokee-Shawnee-French Canadian-Euro mix)

If you are an American Indian/First Nations/Indigenous, which many of you are, you may find it exceedingly difficult to find paper records that CONFIRM what tribe you think you are… or were told you are.

For example, on Earl’s side of my family, Earl’s aunt Bessie, referred to us as BLACK DUTCH, which is “code” for Cherokee.  My first conversation with my dad he told me we are Indian.  Mystery solved? Not quite.

Code is not uncommon at all.  Since I have been in reunion, my cousin Cathy and I have dug up tons on the “code” and how it makes sense Bessie would say that — since if you were Indian, you’d be forcibly removed to Indian Territory (then malaria-ridden Oklahoma) and you couldn’t own land and that was terrifying, potentially fatal. (Thank you Bessie for telling people that repeatedly.)

shawnee

For New England tribes, that matter of having “papers” means you exist. For many tribes here, every time you went to Hartford or Boston to make a claim with the courts, you made a record: that paper is now buried in old boxes.  Why would that matter now?

Paper has to exist for you to be federally recognized.  Then as a sovereign you are entitled to promises made when the federal government (not the states) made treaty with your tribe or band.  You’d finally get some of your stolen land back, maybe even compensated!

When I was editor of the Pequot Times, I met with leaders of the Eastern Pequot bands who had done extensive paper research in their bid for federal recognition. They found documents hidden in boxes under Flora and Fauna in Hartford, Connecticut, secret code for “wild indians.”  To this day, the Eastern Pequot are NOT federally recognized and it’s not only frustrating for them (trying over 40+ years), but devious on the part of the FEDS.  (I worked for the Western Pequot or Mashantucket who are recognized). One can only imagine what will happen when PAPERS are found that feds and BIA cannot reject and no longer deny for ANY Eastern tribe.  (Old tricks worked a long time for the clever feds/BIA – demanding paper proof.)

Paper can change things, and I’d mentioned The Yale Indian Papers Project on this blog HERE

From June 29th to July 1st the Yale Indian Papers Project hosted an NEH-sponsored Digital Native American & Indigenous Studies workshop at Yale Divinity School and at the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. The three-day event introduced participants to issues of access, preservation, and methodology related to the use of digitized cultural heritage materials in the context of tribal communities and cultures from the territories east of the Mississippi River.

UPDATE:  The Yale Indian Papers Project (YIPP), which first came to YALE in 2003, is an extensive publishing endeavor to digitize the collection of primary source materials relating to New England’s Native American history.  It draws from the archives of numerous institutions, including the Yale University Library, Harvard University Library, The Massachusetts Archives and the National Archives of the United Kingdom.  Researchers are currently working to gather information on the people who lived in the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies.   On Aug. 12, the project announced that it had been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, allowing it to expand its work in Massachusetts for three more years. Read More

Both Tobias Glaza and executive editor Paul Grant-Costa said the Indian Papers Project has helped forge new relationships between Yale and Native communities for the first time in several centuriesGrant-Costa said the initial idea for the project arose more than two decades ago as a result of the challenges New England’s Native tribes first faced when trying to become recognized by the federal government. In order for these long-marginalized communities to win recognition, they first need access to historical material that has not been easily accessible in the past, he said.* [I went to their first meetings]

Tribes need paper to exist?  Indeed.  It sounds crazy, and so ludicrous.

Paper is crucially important and having it will break the CODE of erased Indian history right here in New England… no, not all Indians in the east are dead… (bad history again, yes.)

FINALLY we will see papers that reflect truth… finally.

[*YIPP editors are happy the grant will extend their work in Massachusetts for three more years.  Taken together with the Mellon/CLIR and National Archives grants, the editorial efforts will last more than four years, adding 1,650 documents to the New England Indian Papers Series.]

****************

My friend and fellow blogger/author Trav S. D. [Travalanche] has done quite a bit of research, too. He’s a contributor to THE MIX e-mag, and he’s a Cherokee mix like me.

A thoughtful agent friend noticed the growing snowball of posts on Travalanche about American history and my family’s role therein.  Some posts are more focused on my ancestors, some involve me personally, and some are more like op-eds that have grown out of my meditation on my people’s role in our history. As you begin to see, they almost begin to stack up to something like a history of the nation, with an emphasis on race and class, and a greater than normal emphasis on pop culture, and I do believe that’s where I’m bound.  The posts themselves are just raw material — they’re not necessarily what would find their way into the book, they just lay the groundwork.

The Founding of Tennessee and Kentucky, Western New York and Ohio

Davy Crockett

The Second Great Awakening

The Star Spangled Banner 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

American Utopianism from 19th Century to Now

The Real Grizzly Adams

William Holland Thomas and the Eastern Band of Cherokee

In addition, these travel posts mention references to places and people in my background: Newport, Salem, Providence, South Street Seaport, and New Orleans.  Many more of these are planned. Also (probably) to come are posts on the French and Indian war, Indian removal, the War of 1812, the Spanish-American war, the World Wars, the Cold War, and enhanced posts on Irish and German ancestors….

READ: A Personal History of the United States (the Person Being ME)

 

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Required Reading: How cultural appropriation is hurting indigenous artists

Janet Rogers says cultural appropriation is when one person from one culture, takes culturally distinct items, aesthetics, spiritual practices or artwork from another culture and mimics it. (Blair Russell)

How cultural appropriation is hurting indigenous artists:

Q: How is it harmful to Indigenous art and artists?

A: It really is our number one source of private direct revenue into our communities, so it’s got a huge economic impact. From a cultural side, it’s a written language here to us on the coast. A lot of people don’t understand that when they are appropriating our artwork that our history, our culture and even our laws are codified into this, so that when you take it and you manipulate it and you bastardise it and you put it out there as your own without understanding the meaning, you’re doing significant damage.

Source: Required Reading

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Digitizing Native American petitions | Harvard Gazette

The Council on Library and Information Resources, through its Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards program, has awarded a grant of $275,795 to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, in collaboration with a Yale partner, to create the Digital Archive of Native American Petitions in Massachusetts.

Source: Digitizing Native American petitions | Harvard Gazette

A two-spirited life leads to a two-spirited legacy – Winnipeg Free Press

When Ma-Nee Chacaby was a teenager in the remote Ojibwa community of Ombabika, Ont., in the 1960s, she secretly wished she could slick her hair back into a glossy, Elvis Presley pompadour. Some 50 years later, she would finally get to, dressing up as the King as part of a drag show in one of Thunder Bay’s inaugural Gay Pride events.

Source: A two-spirited life leads to a two-spirited legacy – Winnipeg Free Press

Matilda Carter

I am making a list of all my grandmothers – Matilda is one of them. If you are related to her, you are related to me… (email me if you are…laratrace@outlook.com)

I found her maybe here: Carter, Matilda 4704 Dawes Rolls: Choctaw or Matilda Carter, 18, Female, Card #659, Cherokee Freedmen, Roll #1660.

 

(top photo: me in sixth grade…)

U.S. Army Open To Returning Remains Of American Indian Children Buried In Carlisle 

These spirits need to return home

RED POWER MEDIA

By Red Power Media, Staff | May 6, 2016

Nearly 200 American Indian children perished at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School

For more than 100 years, American Indian children have been buried at Carlisle, the school that sought to cleanse their “savage nature” by erasing their names, language, customs, religions, and family ties.

Between 1879 and 1918, more than 10,000 American Indian children were housed at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, the federal government’s flagship boarding school based on a strict military model.

The children were stripped of all tribal traditions. Their native names were changed to European names and they were forced to adopt the traditions of white America.

Nearly 200 of the children perished at the school, most from diseases like tuberculosis or consumption. Their remains were never returned to their families. The children’s final resting place is on the grounds of what used to be the…

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An Exclusive Look at the Greatest Haul of Native American Artifacts, Ever

Plunder of the Ancients photo

In a warehouse in Utah, federal agents are storing tens of thousands of looted objects recovered in a massive sting

By Kathleen Sharp

Smithsonian Magazine | November 2015

At dawn on June 10, 2009, almost 100 federal agents pulled up to eight homes in Blanding, Utah, wearing bulletproof vests and carrying side arms.  An enormous cloud hung over the region, one of them recalled, blocking out the rising sun and casting an ominous glow over the Four Corners region, where the borders of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico meet.  At one hilltop residence, a team of a dozen agents banged on the door and arrested the owners—a well-respected doctor and his wife.  Similar scenes played out across the Four Corners that morning as officers took an additional 21 men and women into custody.  Later that day, the incumbent interior secretary and deputy U.S. attorney general, Ken Salazar and David W. Ogden, announced the arrests as part of “the nation’s largest investigation of archaeological and cultural artifact thefts.”  The agents called it Operation Cerberus, after the three-headed hellhound of Greek mythology.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/exclusive-greatest-haul-native-american-artifacts-looted-180956959/#jybp2qtKvDmAl4X8.99

 

NEW BOOK: STOLEN GENERATIONS! Survivors of the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop

NISKA COVER ART
COVER ART: Terry Niska Watson (White Earth)

one click to buy

Contributors:

INTRO: Johnathan Brooks (Northern Cheyenne)

Preface: Trace Hentz (Shawnee-Cherokee- French Canadian)

Joseph Henning (Cree)

Leland Pacheco Kirk Morrill (Navajo)

Nakuset (Cree)

Debra Newman (Choctaw Cherokee)

Belinda Mastalski Smith (Oneida New York)

Janelle Black Owl (Mandan, Hidatasa, Turtle Mountain Chippewa, Lakota)

Susan Devan Harness (Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes)

Dana LoneHill (Oglala Lakota)

Joy Meness (Iroquois)

Levi William EagleFeather Sr. (Sicangu Lakota)

Patricia Busbee (Cherokee)

Karl Mizenmayer (Minnesota Ojibwe)

MITZI LIPSCOMB/ROSEMARY BLACKBIRD (Walpole Bkejwanong First Nations)

Rebecca Larsen (Quinault Indian Nation)

Joseph M. Pierce (Cherokee)

Mary St. Martin (Koyukon Athabascan)

Joshua Whitehead (Peguis First Nation Manitoba)

Editor Trace L Hentz (Cherokee-Shawnee-French Canadian mix)

PREVIEW:  Once Upon A Time

Confronting the Past documentary

60s Scoop: A Hidden Generation

Source: AMERICAN INDIAN ADOPTEES: STOLEN GENERATIONS! Survivors of the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop ON SALE tomorrow

TracesBookFINAL.indd
BOOK 2
FullCoverTWoworlds_BleedNEW
Book 1

Book trailer:

 

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ancestor gifts? change history? read this one

Archaeologists Dig Up An 800-Year-Old Native American Pot. What They Found Inside Is Changing History

In 2008, on a dig in the First Nation’s Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin, archaeologists made a small but stunning discovery: a tiny clay pot.

Though it might not have seemed very impressive at first glimpse, this little piece of pottery was determined to be about 800 years old.

And inside that pot? Something that changes how we’re looking at extinction, preservation, and food storage, as well as how humans have influenced the planet in their time on it.

It’s amazing to think that a little clay pot buried in the ground 800 years ago would still be relevant today, but it’s true! It’s actually brought an extinct species of squash that was presumed to be lost forever. Thank our Indigenous Ancestors! Even they knew what preservation meant. They knew the importance of the future, Is it not amazing that they are affecting our walks of life even to this day?

Here it is! The pot was unearthed on the Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin, where it had laid buried for the past 800 years.

This pot was unearthed on the Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin, where it had laid buried for the past 800 years.

Inside, archaeologists found a stash of seeds. The seeds were probably buried in the pot as a method of storing food supplies. They were determined to be an old, now-extinct species of squash.

Inside, archaeologists found a stash of seeds. The seeds were probably buried in the pot as a method of storing food supplies. They were determined to be an old, now-extinct species of squash.

Now, seven years after making this stunning discovery, students in Winnipeg decided to plant the 800-year-old seeds… To everyone’s amazement, something grew!

Now, seven years after making this stunning discovery, students in Winnipeg decided to plant the 800-year-old seeds — and, to everyone's amazement, something grew!

The squash was named Gete-okosomin. It means “Big Old Squash” in the Menominee language. (Respect to the Science people for respecting the Indigenous people who’s land this was found on, We See Your Good Nature!)

The squash was named Gete-okosomin. It means "Big Old Squash" in the Menominee language — and big it certainly is!

Now, they’re working to cultivate the squash so that it doesn’t go extinct ..again.

Now, they're working to cultivate the squash so that it doesn't go extinct — again.

It may be just a humble squash, but it’s also a symbol of First Nations’ community and history, as well as a fascinating look into how amazing plants can be.

It may be just a humble squash, but it's also a symbol of First Nations' community and history, as well as a fascinating look into how amazing plants can be.

It just goes to show you that plants can be pretty incredible.. and that sometimes, history has a funny way of coming back around. The Wheel of Life really stands out in this instance of history. Our Indigenous roots are strong and very much tied to the land. I was taught once that the people of Turtle Island were keepers of the land, not owners. I feel like this Squash is proof of that teaching.

If you love history, science, or you’re just curious about what this would taste like in soup, please SHARE!

Follow Dustin McGladrey on Twitter Instagram

 

Now this kind of science I like!  Lara Trace

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Soul Wound: The Legacy of Native American Schools

Soul Wound

The Legacy of Native American Schools

U.S. and Canadian authorities took Native children from their homes and tried to school, and sometimes beat, the Indian out them. Now Native Americans are fighting the theft of language, of culture, and of childhood itself.

By Andrea Smith

A little while ago, I was supposed to attend a Halloween party. I decided to dress as a nun because nuns were the scariest things I ever saw,” says Willetta Dolphus, 54, a Cheyenne River Lakota. The source of her fear, still vivid decades later, was her childhood experience at American Indian boarding schools in South Dakota.

Boys pray before bedtime with Father Keyes, St. Mary’s Mission School, Omak. © Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture/Eastern Washington State Historical Society, Spokane, WA

Dolphus is one of more than 100,000 Native Americans forced by the U.S. government to attend Christian schools. The system, which began with President Ulysses Grant’s 1869 “Peace Policy,” continued well into the 20th century. Church officials, missionaries, and local authorities took children as young as five from their parents and shipped them off to Christian boarding schools; they forced others to enroll in Christian day schools on reservations. Those sent to boarding school were separated from their families for most of the year, sometimes without a single family visit. Parents caught trying to hide their children lost food rations.

Virtually imprisoned in the schools, children experienced a devastating litany of abuses, from forced assimilation and grueling labor to widespread sexual and physical abuse. Scholars and activists have only begun to analyze what Joseph Gone (Gros Ventre), a psychology professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, calls “the cumulative effects of these historical experiences across gender and generation upon tribal communities today.”

“Native America knows all too well the reality of the boarding schools,” writes Native American Bar Association President Richard Monette, who attended a North Dakota boarding school, “where recent generations learned the fine art of standing in line single-file for hours without moving a hair, as a lesson in discipline; where our best and brightest earned graduation certificates for homemaking and masonry; where the sharp rules of immaculate living were instilled through blistered hands and knees on the floor with scouring toothbrushes; where mouths were scrubbed with lye and chlorine solutions for uttering Native words.”

Sammy Toineeta (Lakota) helped found the national Boarding School Healing Project to document such abuses. “Human rights activists must talk about the issue of boarding schools,” says Toineeta. “It is one of the grossest human rights violations because it targeted children and was the tool for perpetrating cultural genocide. To ignore this issue would be to ignore the human rights of indigenous peoples, not only in the U.S., but around the world.”

The schools were part of Euro-America’s drive to solve the “Indian problem” and end Native control of their lands. While some colonizers advocated outright physical extermination, Captain Richard H. Pratt thought it wiser to “Kill the Indian and save the man.” In 1879 Pratt, an army veteran of the Indian wars, opened the first federally sanctioned boarding school: the Carlisle Industrial Training School, in Carlisle, Penn.

“Transfer the savage-born infant to the surroundings of civilization, and he will grow to possess a civilized language and habit,” said Pratt. He modeled Carlisle on a prison school he had developed for a group of 72 Indian prisoners of war at Florida’s Fort Marion prison. His philosophy was to “elevate” American Indians to white standards through a process of forced acculturation that stripped them of their language, culture, and customs.

Government officials found the Carlisle model an appealing alternative to the costly military campaigns against Indians in the West. Within three decades of Carlisle’s opening, nearly 500 schools extended all the way to California. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) controlled 25 off-reservation boarding schools while churches ran 460 boarding and day schools on reservations with government funds.

Both BIA and church schools ran on bare-bones budgets, and large numbers of students died from starvation and disease because of inadequate food and medical care. School officials routinely forced children to do arduous work to raise money for staff salaries and “leased out” students during the summers to farm or work as domestics for white families. In addition to bringing in income, the hard labor prepared children to take their place in white society — the only one open to them — on the bottom rung of the socioeconomic ladder.

Physical hardship, however, was merely the backdrop to a systematic assault on Native culture. School staff sheared children’s hair, banned traditional clothing and customs, and forced children to worship as Christians. Eliminating Native languages — considered an obstacle to the “acculturation” process — was a top priority, and teachers devised an extensive repertoire of punishments for uncooperative children. “I was forced to eat an entire bar of soap for speaking my language,” says AIUSA activist Byron Wesley (Navajo).

The loss of language cut deep into the heart of the Native community. Recent efforts to restore Native languages hint at what was lost. Mona Recountre, of the South Dakota Crow Creek reservation, says that when her reservation began a Native language immersion program at its elementary school, social relationships within the school changed radically and teachers saw a decline in disciplinary problems. Recountre’s explanation is that the Dakota language creates community and respect by emphasizing kinship and relationships. The children now call their teachers “uncle” or “auntie” and “don’t think of them as authority figures,” says Recountre. “It’s a form of respect, and it’s a form of acknowledgment.”

Native scholars describe the destruction of their culture as a “soul wound,” from which Native Americans have not healed. Embedded deep within that wound is a pattern of sexual and physical abuse that began in the early years of the boarding school system. Joseph Gone describes a history of “unmonitored and unchecked physical and sexual aggression perpetrated by school officials against a vulnerable and institutionalized population.” Gone is one of many scholars contributing research to the Boarding School Healing Project.

Rampant sexual abuse at reservation schools continued until the end of the 1980s, in part because of pre-1990 loopholes in state and federal law mandating the reporting of allegations of child sexual abuse. In 1987 the FBI found evidence that John Boone, a teacher at the BIA-run Hopi day school in Arizona, had sexually abused as many as 142 boys from 1979 until his arrest in 1987. The principal failed to investigate a single abuse allegation. Boone, one of several BIA schoolteachers caught molesting children on reservations in the late 1980s, was convicted of child abuse, and he received a life sentence. Acting BIA chief William Ragsdale admitted that the agency had not been sufficiently responsive to allegations of sexual abuse, and he apologized to the Hopi tribe and others whose children BIA employees had abused.

The effects of the widespread sexual abuse in the schools continue to ricochet through Native communities today. “We know that experiences of such violence are clearly correlated with posttraumatic reactions including social and psychological disruptions and breakdowns,” says Gone.

Dolphus, now director of the South Dakota Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, sees boarding school policies as the central route through which sexual abuse became entrenched in Native communities, as many victims became molesters themselves. Hopi tribe members testified at a 1989 Senate hearing that some of Boone’s victims had become sex abusers; others had become suicidal or alcoholic.

The abuse has dealt repeated blows to the traditional social structure of Indian communities. Before colonization, Native women generally enjoyed high status, according to scholars, and violence against women, children, and elders was virtually non-existent. Today, sexual abuse and violence have reached epidemic proportions in Native communities, along with alcoholism and suicide. By the end of the 1990s, the sexual assault rate among Native Americans was three-and-a-half times higher than for any other ethnic group in the U.S., according to the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. Alcoholism in Native communities is currently six times higher than the national average. Researchers are just beginning to establish quantitative links between these epidemic rates and the legacy of boarding schools.

A more complete history of the abuses endured by Native American children exists in the accounts of survivors of Canadian “residential schools.” Canada imported the U.S. boarding school model in the 1880s and maintained it well into the 1970s — four decades after the United States ended its stated policy of forced enrollment. Abuses in Canadian schools are much better documented because survivors of Canadian schools are more numerous, younger, and generally more willing to talk about their experiences.

A 2001 report by the Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada documents the responsibility of the Roman Catholic Church, the United Church of Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the federal government in the deaths of more than 50,000 Native children in the Canadian residential school system. (SERIAL KILLERS? I think these church officials were and should have been indicted… Trace)

The report says church officials killed children by beating, poisoning, electric shock, starvation, prolonged exposure to sub-zero cold while naked, and medical experimentation, including the removal of organs and radiation exposure. In 1928 Alberta passed legislation allowing school officials to forcibly sterilize Native girls; British Columbia followed suit in 1933. There is no accurate toll of forced sterilizations because hospital staff destroyed records in 1995 after police launched an investigation. But according to the testimony of a nurse in Alberta, doctors sterilized entire groups of Native children when they reached puberty. The report also says that Canadian clergy, police, and business and government officials “rented out” children from residential schools to pedophile rings.

The consequences of sexual abuse can be devastating. “Of the first 29 men who publicly disclosed sexual abuse in Canadian residential schools, 22 committed suicide,” says Gerry Oleman, a counselor to residential school survivors in British Columbia.

Randy Fred (Tsehaht First Nation), a 47-year-old survivor, told the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society, “We were kids when we were raped and victimized. All the plaintiffs I’ve talked with have attempted suicide. I attempted suicide twice, when I was 19 and again when I was 20. We all suffered from alcohol abuse, drug abuse. Looking at the lists of students [abused in the school], at least half the guys are dead.”

The Truth Commission report says that the grounds of several schools contain unmarked graveyards of murdered school children, including babies born to Native girls raped by priests and other church officials in the school. Thousands of survivors and relatives have filed lawsuits against Canadian churches and governments since the 1990s, with the costs of settlements estimated at more than $1 billion. Many cases are still working their way through the court system.

While some Canadian churches have launched reconciliation programs, U.S. churches have been largely silent. Natives of this country have also been less aggressive in pursuing lawsuits. Attorney Tonya Gonnella-Frichner (Onondaga) says that the combination of statutes of limitations, lack of documentation, and the conservative makeup of the current U.S. Supreme Court make lawsuits a difficult and risky strategy.

Nonetheless, six members of the Sioux Nation who say they were physically and sexually abused in government-run boarding schools filed a class-action lawsuit this April against the United States for $25 billion on behalf of hundreds of thousands of mistreated Native Americans. Sherwyn Zephier was a student at a school run from 1948 to 1975 by St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Marty, S.D.: “I was tortured in the middle of the night. They would whip us with boards and sometimes with straps,” he recalled in Los Angeles at an April press conference to launch the suit.

Adele Zephier, Sherwyn’s sister, said, “I was molested there by a priest and watched other girls” and then broke down crying. Lawyers have interviewed nearly 1,000 alleged victims in South Dakota alone.

Native activists within church denominations are also pushing for resolutions that address boarding school abuses. This July the first such resolution will go before the United Church of Christ, demanding that the church begin a process of reconciliation with Native communities. Activists also point out that while the mass abductions ended with the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act (IRA), doctors, lawyers, and social workers were still removing thousands of children from their families well into the 1970s. Even today, “Indian parents continue to consent to adoptions after being persuaded by ‘professionals’ who promise that their child will fare better in a white, middle-class family,” according to a report by Lisa Poupart for the Crime and Social Justice Associates.

Although there is disagreement in Native communities about how to approach the past, most agree that the first step is documentation. It is crucial that this history be exposed, says Dolphus. “When the elders who were abused in these schools have the chance to heal, then the younger generation will begin to heal too.”

Members of the Boarding School Healing Project say that current levels of violence and dysfunction in Native communities result from human rights abuses perpetrated by state policy. In addition to setting up hotlines and healing services for survivors, this broad coalition is using a human rights framework to demand accountability from Washington and churches.

While this project is Herculean in its scope, its success could be critical to the healing of indigenous nations from both contemporary and historical human rights abuses. Native communities, the project’s founders hope, will begin to view the abuse as the consequence of human rights violations perpetrated by church and state rather than as an issue of community dysfunction and individual failings.

And for individuals, overcoming the silence and the stigma of abuse in Native communities can lead to breakthroughs: “There was an experience that caused me to be damaged,” said boarding school survivor Sammy Toineeta. “I finally realized that there wasn’t something wrong with me.”

SOURCE

Andrea Smith (Cherokee) is interim coordinator for the Boarding School Healing Project and a Bunche Fellow coordinating AIUSA’s research project on Sexual Violence and American Indian women.

St. Pius X Mission Boarding School for Native children, Tlingit: People of the Tides

Pre-1887 – Skagua, as it is known by the Tlingit, meaning windy place, is used by Chilkoots and Chilkats for hunting and fishing. A few of these Native Americans settle in the quieter areas of Smuggler’s Cove, Nahku Bay and Dyea, head of the Chilkoot trail, a centuries-old Indian trading route becoming popular with early prospectors heading into the Yukon. In the 1880s, U.S. Navy and Army patrols establish federal presence in the area.

Tlinglit Region: http://tlingitlanguage.com/

Taku River Tlingit Place Names
When you visit a place in our vast province or country, do you think about how that place was named? Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps the place had a name before European explorers and settlers arrived and gave it an English name. Many areas in our province had names before European newcomers renamed the places that were already known to Indigenous peoples.

In the most northwestern area of British Columbia, the Indigenous peoples are the Taku River Tlingit. The Taku River Tlingit are Tlingit peoples whose territory extends between British Columbia, Southern Yukon, and Southern Alaska. The word Tlingit can be translated to mean People of the Tides. Taku River Tlingit The Taku River Tlingit Place Names Map, http://www.trt.geolive.ca has been created to bring awareness to the traditional Taku River Tlingit place names in the northwestern area of British Columbia.

St. Pius X Mission School
1931 – St. Pius X Mission is established in Skagway under the wing of beloved Father G. Edgar Gallant, who will operate the school for Native children from all over Alaska for almost 30 years.
READ HISTORY OF SKAGWAY

Skagway, Alaska

Gold was discovered near Dawson in the Klondike in 1896, and the town of Skagway was founded in 1897 by Captain William Moore. With the influx of miners and prospectors heading for the Klondike, Skagway quickly became the most populated town in Alaska, with a population of 3,117 in 1900.

The first priest to visit Skagway was Father Paul Bougis SJ, from Douglas, Alaska (near Juneau). He arrived in the fall of 1897 and offered Mass in the homes of Catholic families that fall and the following spring. In August, 1898, Father Philibert Turnell SJ came to Skagway and established a mission. He made temporary arrangements to use the school for Sunday Masses, and his first Mass was offered on September 8, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Three months later the Catholic community purchased a large empty store, converting it into a church and naming it St. Mark’s. The church was filled to capacity for the first Mass which was offered on Christmas Eve, 1898.

In March of 1918, Father Edgar Gallant was the first priest to be ordained in Alaska. His first assignment was Skagway, where he was to serve until 1959. Father Gallant’s first goal was to improve St. Mark’s Church. In 1932, with help from the Catholic Extension Society, he built St. Pius X Mission Boarding School for Native children. The school stood on the site of the present Garden City R.V. Park and was staffed by the Sisters of St. Ann of British Columbia. In November of 1946, the school burned to the ground, but was soon rebuilt and operated until 1959.

Francis Merrill Sulzman

Posted on Mar 16, 2010 in Alaska Natives
Father Sulzman came to Skagway in 1931 when Monsignor Gallant established the Saint Pius X Mission Home for Native children who were either orphans or from destitute families, staffed by the Sisters of Saint Ann. (That statement is pure propaganda…Trace)

The Mission was rebuilt in 1946, and operated until the 1960s.

Sulzman was born on this day, March 16, 1906 in Waterford New York and when he left here he joined the army and served as a chaplain in World War 2. He died in 1966 in Matanuska Alaska.

[from the Hugh F. McColl webpage at genealogy.com; and the oblatvs.blogspot]

Remembering the children who never came home

Carlisle: “Kill the Indian”

by Brenda Norrell: Photos for the families of the children who never came home. Carlisle Cemetery 2008 

Brenda Norrell

Censored News
CARLISLE, Penn. — Most American Indian children in US boarding schools were kidnapped, stolen from their parents.  At Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Native American children were part of the US experiment which became the prototype of the boarding schools that followed. Across the US, Indian children were forbidden to speak their language, which carried their songs and ceremonies. Their hair was cut in an attempt to cut the Indian-ness from them.
In boarding schools, children were routinely abused, beaten and sexually abused. Many were tortured and locked in cellars. Some were shot trying to escape. Many died of malnutrition and pneumonia. Others died of tuberculosis and genocide: Children with TB were housed with healthy children, producing the rampant spread of tuberculosis.
The young boys who survived were militarized, made into US soldiers. The Carlisle school eventually became an Army War College and finally the US Army Campus.
At Haskell, the unmarked graves in the marsh tell the rest of the story. Many of the children who died, or were murdered, were buried in unmarked graves without gravestones.
This pattern of genocide was repeated in Australia and Canada. In Canada, at the residential schools operated by churches, there is new evidence that children were raped and murdered.
Irene Favel, survivor of Muscowequan Catholic residential school in Lestock, Saskatchewan, describes seeing a newborn baby thrown alive into a furnace at that school by a priest in 1944. An Indian girl had been raped by a priest and given birth.
Carlisle was built on the premise of a prison.
At Carlisle, Richard H. Pratt designed the school, based on his experience at St. Augustine prison in Florida.
“Kill the Indian, and save the man,” Pratt said, stating his theory of education.
“The children arrived in Carlisle on October 6, 1879 and soon the assimilation began. The boys were dressed in military uniforms, the girls wore Victorian style dresses. Both male and female were forced to have their hair cut, which to the Lakota the cutting of the hair was symbolic of mourning.” http://native-american-history.suite101.com/article.cfm/carlisle_indian_school#ixzz0RTJ9nQLX
The tombstones tell the story, the children quickly began dying.
An unknown number died after returning home and a generation of American Indians suffered from childhoods of abuse, deprived of the love of their parents.
At Carlisle, there were 10,000 Indian children in the boarding school between 1879 and 1918. There are 186 graves that are marked with tombstones.
An unknown number of children were buried without markers.
In the cemetery, names remember the children of Carlisle

Fanny Charging Shield, Sioux, died March 7, 1892; Susia Nach Kea, Apache, died May 14, 1889; Godfrey Blatcha, Apache, died July 1890; Cooking Look, Alaskan, died Jan. 4, 1904; Alice Springer, Omaha, died Nov. 12, 1883; Henry Jones, Iowa, died March 20, 1880; Nannie Little Rose, Cheyenne; Albert Henderson; Giles Hands, died May, 1881, Cheyenne; Maul, daughter of Chief Swift Bear, Sioux, died Dec. 1880; Ernest, son of Chief White Thunder, Sioux, died Dec. 14, 1880; Isabel Kelcusay, Apache, died on Christmas day, Dec. 25, 1884; Pedro Saaehez, Apache, died in May of 1885; Frank Cushing, Pueblo, died July 22, 1881; William Sammers, Cheyenne, died May 21, 1888, Corine Simohtie, Apache, died Feb. 11, 1886; Sibyl Mapko, Apache; Kate Rosskidwitts, Witchita, died Jan. 10, 1882, John Bytzolay and all the others.

we remember them today and every day…Laramie

Carlisle Indian Industrial School

Photographs taken by John N. Choate. Pictured are Spotted Tail (Sioux), Iron Wing (Sioux), American Horse (Sioux), Red Shirt (Sioux), White Eagle (Ponca), Standing Buffalo (Ponca), Poor Wolf (Mandan), Son-of-the-Star (Arickaree), White Man (Apache), Stumbling Bear (Kiowa), Tso-de-ar-ko (Wichita), Big Horse (Cheyenne), Bob Tail (Cheyenne), Man-on-the-Cloud (Cheyenne), Mad Wolf (Cheyenne), Little Raven (Arapahoe), Yellow Bear (Arapahoe), Left Hand (Arapahoe), and Ouray (Ute).

Collection name: Carlisle Indian School

Original held by: Archives and Special Collections

Institution: Dickinson College

Location: Carlisle, PA

Contact us at: archives@dickinson.edu

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The Carlisle Indian Industrial School was a formalized and well-structured institution that spent a half-day on academic classes and the other half learning various in trades. Classes included subjects such as English, math, history, drawing and composition. Carpentry, tinsmithing, blacksmithing were common trades for the boys, and cooking, sewing, laundry, baking, were common trades for the girls. Music was also a part of the program with many students who studying how to play instruments.

Gertrude Bonnin - Zitkala Sa

University of Virginia
Heard Exhibition
(LEFT) Zitkala Sa a.k.a. Gertrude Bonnin became a fierce critic of Carlisle after her time there.

Although the Carlisle Indian School taught the students the trades of “western culture,” many critics still disagreed with the structure and the aim of the Indian boarding schools at the time.

One of Carlisle’s harshest critics was Gertude Bonnin, (Zitkala-Sa), a famous Indian author and artist who once taught at the Carlisle Indian School. She believed that Indian students were capable of and should be exposed to higher learning and academic subjects, and should not be limited to vocational training. She also disapproved of the military discipline and Christian evangelizing the school imposed on its students. According to Zitkala-Sa, the boarding school system was a “miserable state of cultural dislocation,” that created problems long after the children returned home.

Pratt’s initial motives of educating the Indians might have been noble, but his methods could be quite harsh. Military style discipline was strictly enforced with regular drill practices and the children were expected to march to their classes, and from the classes, to the dining hall for meals. Beatings were a common form of punishment for students’ grieving behaviors, speaking their native languages, failure to understand English, or attempting to escape and violating the harsh military rules. According to Dr. Eulynda J. Toledo of the Boarding School Healing Project, children at Carlisle had their mouths washed with lye soap for speaking in any language other than English. If the children broke any rules their punishment was determined by an organized justice system of their peers.

Other forms of punishment included being set to hard labor and confinement to the guardhouse. Built in 1777 by Hessian prisoners during the Revolutionary War, the guardhouse contained four cells in which children were locked, sometimes for up to a week. It still stands as a haunting reminder of the school’s rigidity.

Class Room at Carlisle

Library of Congress
Students learning at the blackboard at Carlisle.

The children at the Carlisle Indian school had extremely difficult times adjusting to their new living conditions. The health of many Indian students was in peril after European contact due to the lack of natural immunity. Food was scarce and of poor quality. Illness and death among the children were common. Many of the children suffered from separation anxiety, smallpox and tuberculosis which at that time quickly resulted in death because of the lack of medical treatment. While most of the children were sent back to their reservations, hundreds of others passed away at the school. A hundred and ninety two children died and were buried in the school cemetery, a majority of whom were buried from the Apache tribe.

The Carlisle Industrial School did, however, provide many programs to benefit the Indian children. One particular program was the “Outing System” where students were sent out to different towns and live with white families to learn how they lived. Pratt referred to the “Outing System” as “The Supreme Americanizer.” It provided a means through which students could obtain special training in skilled occupations which eventually would lead to profitable employment. During the first summer of the school, Pratt found places at individual homes, including homes of Quaker families in eastern Pennsylvania and local businesses for twenty-four students. The students were paid for their services and the money earned was deposited in an interest-bearing bank account by the school, and then given to the student when he or she graduated. The second year, the program grew to 109 students. The Outing System succeeded in placing the Indian children closer to the culture they were to absorb and continued throughout the school’s thirty-nine years of existence.

Throughout Pratt’s twenty-five years of supervision, he often conflicted with government officials over his outspoken views on the need for Native Americans to become absorbed into Euro-American society. He was against the reservation concept and continued to fight with the Indian Bureau. Pratt was eventually relieved as Superintendent of the Carlisle Indian School in 1904 and soon his strict disciplinary ideals for the school were relaxed.

 

Top Photo: Olympian Jim Thorpe attended this institution

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Witness Blanket: Carey Newman

A small collection of contributed material Master Carver Carey Newman used to create a large-scale six-foot tall and 30-feet wide red cedar installation titled Witness Blanket, designed using items reclaimed from residential schools, churches, government buildings and other traditional structures. ( Photo: CHAD HIPOLITO/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Master Carver Carey Newman holds a prototype 3×3 feet red cedar base that will be used as a template for Witness Blanket. (CHAD HIPOLITO/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/arts-video/video-artist-confronts-the-painful-legacy-of-residential-schools-in-witness-blanket/article14749585/?videoembed=true

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/news-video/video-residential-school-survivors-surprised-by-exhibit/article23171094/?videoembed=true

Lac du Flambeau Boarding School: 1895-1932 Wisconsin

Location: Lac du Flambeau, WI

Years of Operation: 1895-1932

Brief History: The Lac du Flambeau Boarding School opened in 1895, with a capacity of 200 students. By 1899, there were 150 students and 5 staff members; prior to its closing in 1932, there were around 300 students. The original complex consisted of 18 structures along with a farm and forest. While most of the original buildings have been torn down, the boy’s dormitory has been in use almost continually, first as Bureau of Indian Affairs’ housing, then as a BIA office, a tribal government building and most recently, as a homeless shelter. The building was permanently closed in 1999. It is now being preserved to be developed into an interpretive center, an archival storage facility and a traditional skills learning center. Tribal elders who were interviewed about the old school were supportive of preserving the dorm as a symbol of survival through a harsh era.

The Lac du Flambeau Tribe’s Historic Preservation Officer, Kelly Jackson, received the first Secretary of the Interior Historic Preservation Award last year in part for her work on “Legacies of Survival,” the effort to restore the former boy’s dorm to its 1906 footprint.

Primary Sources: Tribal Historic Preservation Department, http://www.ojibwehistory.org

Site Coordinator:

Kelly Jackson, Idfthop@nnex.net

Contact number: 715-588-2270

Original School Site: 838 Whitefeather Lane

Lac du Flambeau, WI