(29:53) On the frozen plains of Nebraska, a grim search is underway. The community is trying to locate an old cemetery that was once on the grounds of the US Indian Genoa Industrial School. The Genoa school was one of a network of institutions for Native American children set up in the 19th and 20th centuries across the U.S.A. Their purpose was to assimilate indigenous children into the white man’s world. By 1926, it’s estimated more than 80% of Native American children were enrolled in these institutions.
“We've been severed from our language, from our culture, from our practices over a whole course of time,
but the boarding school era did a number on our people where we almost did not recuperate from it.”
Redwing Thomas, Teacher, Santee Sioux Nation.
Last year, the discovery of more than a thousand graves of children at the sites of former boarding schools in Canada pushed the U.S.A to examine its own history. ABC journalist Stan Grant, whose family was impacted by Australia’s assimilationist policies of forcibly removing children from families, presents this powerful story. He tells the story of a community in Nebraska trying to uncover the truth about one of the country’s largest and longest running boarding schools.
A special thanks to MCC Librarian and fine artist, Sylvia Frost, for use of her photographs.