The NNCTC is publishing a series of essays on Native child welfare, ICWA, and boarding schools. They are all available here.
In the most recent, Patrice Kunesh reflects on her own family history during this time of boarding school listening sessions and investigation by the federal government.
In January 1888, the year before North Dakota would become a state, their middle daughter Josephine, my great-aunt, was born on Battle Creek in Dakota Territory. When she was nine years old, Josephine was sent to Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, where she was trained in domestic skills. Upon her graduation in 1909 at the age of twenty-one, her mother Nellie presented her with a beaded valise, a small suitcase, depicting the 1863 Battle of Whitestone Hill on one side and the Lakota’s last buffalo hunt in 1882, two momentous losses of life and livelihood for the Lakota people that Nellie had witnessed.