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'American Genocide' podcast tells of Native American boarding schools

The cemetery at Red Cloud School. (Jenna Kunze/Native News Online)
The cemetery at Red Cloud School. (Jenna Kunze/Native News Online)

The podcast “American Genocide: The Crimes of Native American Boarding Schools” focuses on one Native community, Pine Ridge, South Dakota, where the Red Cloud Indian School is investigating its own past. The school and dozens of others across the country, most operated by the Catholic Church and U.S. government, were part of a large effort that began in the 19th century to assimilate Native children. Generations of Lakota attended Red Cloud, many were forcibly removed from their homes and many suffered abuse at the school. Children were punished for speaking their Native languages as the schools sought to erase their Native culture.

The podcast’s co-hosts, Crystal Echo Hawk and Lashay Wesley, talk about the quest for healing and justice at Red Cloud, the activists involved, and the tensions and challenges of wrestling with history and trauma.

The cover of “American Genocide.” (Courtesy of “American Genocide”)

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.