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Arts & Life

Elders remember their childhoods at Indian Boarding Schools

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Students at Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Pennsylvania

This interview is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment, hosted by Lori Walsh.

The Heart of All: Oral History Project is an audio series developed by Little Wound School with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The project aims to preserve the oral traditions of Lakota people and preserve the stories of elders in the community.

In a new episode, elders share memories of time at government Indian boarding schools, and how those experiences shaped their childhoods.

Boarding schools existed from the 17th century to the early 20th century. At the schools, efforts were made to "Westernize" indigenous children. They were made to cut their hair, forget their language, and punished for practicing their cultural and religious traditions.

In this clip, you'll hear the voices of Jessie Pulliam, Jeanne Janis, and Birgil Kills Straight.

For full episodes of the Heart of All Lakota Oral History project, visit the audio series website.