Indian Boarding Schools

A mural painted on the side of a boarded up apartment complex in Eagle Butte depicts an infant holding the hand of an elder. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota)

South Dakota inspired ICWA but still has high rate of Native children in foster care

BY: and - November 6, 2023

Cheryl Spider DeCoteau was nervous. It was the Sisseton Wahpeton tribal citizen’s first time in Washington, D.C., and she sat in front of two senators, multiple congressional aides, lawyers and clerks in a large, wood-paneled committee room, bright lights shining down. Two of the 23-year-old’s sons, ages 5 and 3, sat in the audience while […]

Jessica Eagle Star helps her son Noran across the monkey bars at the park in Winner on Aug. 29, 2023. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

The Lost Children: Overrepresentation of Native American children in the SD foster care system

BY: and - November 6, 2023

South Dakota officials have known Native American children are overrepresented in the foster care system for nearly 50 years. The Indian Child Welfare Act, a 1978 federal law, was meant to tackle the problem not just in the state but across the country at a time when Native children were regularly removed from their families. […]

A photo of the Rapid City Indian School's women's basket ball team of 1929 is featured in the Remembering the Children Exhibit in downtown Rapid City. (Photo by Amelia Schafer, ICT/Rapid City Journal)

‘Trauma associated with not knowing’: Uncovering the history of Rapid City Indian School

BY: - October 10, 2023

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details about residential and boarding schools. If you are in crisis, here is a resource list for trauma responses from the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition in the U.S. In Canada, the National Indian Residential School Crisis Hotline can be reached at 1-866-925-4419. RAPID CITY — Ben Sherman, Oglala Lakota, […]

From left, Tamara St. John of the Lake Traverse Reservation and Spirit Lake Tribe Chairwoman Lonna Street talk with Chris Koenig and Meredith Hawkins Trautt, Army Corps of Engineers archeologists and tribal liaisons, at the Carlisle Barracks Post Cemetery in Pennsylvania. The Sisseton Wahpeton representatives were in the state to begin the reinterment process for two children who died at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in the late 1800s. (Courtesy of Tamara St. John)

‘Just a knee bone’: Reinterment brings pain and healing to Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate

BY: - September 20, 2023

They only found a knee bone. That was all that was left of Amos La Framboise in his grave at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, where the 13-year-old Sisseton Wahpeton boy was sent to assimilate to white culture in 1879. He died just three weeks after arriving at the school. ‘They are important […]

From left, Nancy Renville, Justine La Framboise, John Renville, Edward Upright and George Walker pose on the bandstand on the Carlisle school grounds in the late 1800s. Amos La Framboise is not pictured. The six children were members of the Spirit Lake and Lake Traverse bands of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate. (Photo by John Choate, courtesy of Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center)

‘They are important to us’: Remains of Sisseton Wahpeton children returning home

BY: - September 19, 2023

Amos La Framboise and Edward Upright didn’t know that they’d never see their homes and families again. The boys, of the Spirit Lake and Lake Traverse bands of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, set off to Pennsylvania in 1879 to attend the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.  They didn’t know they would die at the school before […]