Pavilion Asylum Presentation

Aug 21, 2015

The Washington Pavilion is hosting a presentation on an Indian Insane Asylum. The committee in charge will shed light on the little known history of the institution.

The Hiawatha Insane Asylum was opened in 1900 in Canton. It remained open for 30 years as the US’s only Asylum for Native Americans. Much of the information about residents and conditions has been lost to time. However, the Hiawatha Action Committee hopes to educate people about the history of the Asylum. Kara Dirkson is the Visual Arts Center Director at the Pavilion. She says with storytelling and artifacts from the Asylum, she hopes audiences learn a lot.

“I hope to come away with first of all a base level of information. All I know is the broad picture the existence of the Asylum and that there were some rather questionable practices there and that life could be really unhappy there. And so it will be great just to get informed, but then the other part of it I think is the better cultural understanding of history of the cultural interaction between Natives and European settlers that make up this area,” says Dirkson.

The presentation is being held at the Washington Pavilion’s Belbas Theater Saturday evening from six to nine PM. Admission is free to the public.