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Buried Apologies and a Path Forward

taken Jul 07, 2023

Disinterment and repatriation is important work, but it’s only just begun, and it’s not the only work that needs to be done to acknowledge and atone for the history of Indigenous boarding schools. The Federal Government has not yet provided a centralized place for survivors or descendants of survivors of Federal Indian boarding schools, or their families, to voluntarily detail their experiences in the boarding school system.

Which means that there are still generations within the Indigenous community who continue to carry the invisible burden of these schools. The “road to healing” has started, maybe, but it's the indigenous people themselves who have taken the most significant steps forward.

Note: We would like to issue a content warning for this episode. Some parts of this episode may not be suitable for younger audiences.


Hosted by: Sharon McMahon

Executive Producer: Heather Jackson

Audio Producer: Jenny Snyder

Written and researched by: Heather Jackson, Amy Watkin, Mandy Reid, and KariMarisa Anton

Thank you to our guest K. Tsiannina Lomawaima and some of the music in this episode was composed by indigenous composer R. Carlos Nakai.


Links to Full Episode: 


About our Expert:

Tsianina Lomawaima (Mvskoke / Creek Nation descent), scholar of Indigenous studies, is retired from the professoriate where she served as faculty at the University of Washington (1988-1994), the University of Arizona (1994-2014), and Arizona State University (2014-2020). She is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the National Academy of Education. Her scholarship on the federal off-reservation boarding school system is rooted in the experiences of her father, Curtis Thorpe Carr, a survivor of Chilocco Indian Agricultural School in Oklahoma, where he was enrolled from 1927 to 1935. Relevant publications include the 2018 special issue of JAIE (Journal of American Indian Education) “Native American Boarding School Stories” Vol. 57 #1; “To Remain an Indian”: Lessons for democracy from a century of Native American education (2006; with Teresa McCarty); Away from home: American Indian boarding school experiences (2000; with Margaret Archuleta and Brenda Child); and They Called it Prairie Light: The Story of Chilocco Indian School (1994).


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