More than 80 people have their bodies Native American Children are In central Nebraska, he was buried at the Genoa Indian Industrial School.
However, for many decades the location of student cemeteries has been a mystery. a Mystery, lost over the course of time after the school The campus was closed in 1931, and the memories of its once bustling campus spread over 640 acres in Genoa’s tiny community faded.
It is possible to solve this mystery soon thanks to to Researchers made great efforts in locating lost graves using ground-penetrating radar, pored over maps from centuries ago and trained dogs.
“These children, in my opinion, were disrespected, and they were throwaway children that no one talked about,” Judi gaiashkibos (executive director, Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs), whose mother was there, said: school The late 1920s. “They were hidden, buried under the ground, and it’s time to take the darkness away. Until we do that, we have not honored those children.”
As the federal government tries to find the graves, a first-ever comprehensive examination of the national system that includes more than 400 Native American boarding schools. Schools and other privately-funded institutions were also part of the attempt to Integration of Indigenous peoples into the white culture requires that children are separated from their families by force or coercion and their heritage is removed.
The U.S. The U.S. Interior Department, headed by Secretary Deb Haaland, a Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico. Native American Cabinet secretary released a Report from last spring that described the boarding school Program and recorded over 500 deaths. It is possible that this number will rise. to Increased significantly a Second Interior Department report. This report will examine boarding school Deaths and the forced removal of children to The schools caused damage to Indigenous communities.
The federal investigation didn’t prompt the work in Genoa but it has added new urgency to The effort.
If Genoa is buried are These decisions are about whether to Consider a memorial or disinterring their remains. to Representatives of Native American Individuals who have been searching for the cemetery for years will not only find it, but tribes as well. to Profit a More understanding of Nebraska school.
The Genoa Indian Industrial School, which was established in 1884, was once home to over 2,000 students. to Nearly 600 students. It was home to more than 4,300 students over the years it was open. Native American Schools across the country. The students were presented with a They received a basic education but were able to learn hands-on skills like horse bridle-making (for boys) and sewing (for girls). a A country in the midst industrial revolution
The children are usually spent long, exhausting daysRises as early as 4 a.m. chores, followed closely by several hours of school Before spending the day in kitchens or workshops or out in fields, gaiashkibos advised that you should first get to know your limits. Even young people can be difficult to discipline. children facing beatings Breaking the rules.
“Absolutely, we know the children were living in fear,” gaiashkibos said. “There were no hugs from mom or grandma. There were no songs sung. Everything was foreign to them.”
More than 40 tribes brought children from all over the world, including Idaho and Maine. to The school. The forbidden them from speaking their Native languages, their hair was cut — a A traumatic experience with cultural significance for many Native Americans of long hair — and they were required to wear uniforms.
This “forced incarceration” Children at a school They could be hundreds or even thousands of miles from their homes. a Crushing has a two-fold purpose Native American Cultures and helping in the stealing Native Farina Kings, an associate professor at University of Oklahoma, is a focus on land. Native American studies.
“More than anything there was a clear agenda to cut the ties between their people, their homeland, their culture,” The King said: a member of the Navajo Nation whose dad attended one of the boarding schools. “They wanted to get them away as far as they could.”
Genoa used to mean taking. a Train that would stop at school grounds is located about 90 miles (145km) west Omaha.
After the school The larger buildings were demolished, and the land was sold to other users. A brick workshop with two stories that has been transformed into a museum remains, as does a Smokestack towering over the community, but also the gymnasium, multistory classroom buildings, and dormitories are long gone and it’s hard to Imagine a Large school The small community once had a history.
If it weren’t for residents who had searched documents and the land for the cemetery for thirty years, the cemetery would have been forgotten. They were successful in their efforts. a Six years ago, Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project gave a significant boost. This project included advisers from several tribes whose ancestral members attended the Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project. school University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Based off newspaper clippings, superintendent’s records, one student’s letter that described a Cemetery and other documents revealed that at least 85 students died at the school. It’s unclear whether close living conditions contributed to The deaths were not recorded, but records show that students died most often from diseases like measles and typhoid. There was also at least one accidental shooting death and another due to illness. to a neck injury.
Researchers 49 children were identified as having died, but they have not been able to be identified. to Names for 37 students It’s believed the bodies of a few children were returned to Their families.
But while the researchers accounted for the deaths, they couldn’t find where the children were buried.
There is interest in hiring more professionals to After Canada announced 2021 that it had discovered Genoa, Genoa’s support grew. mass graves of Indigenous children at residential schools, said Dave Williams, Nebraska’s state archeologist.
“We’ve heard from residents knowing there were burials nearby, knowing this was the Genoa school cemetery, but that precise location has been lost to time,” Williams said. “We’ve heard it’s in a few different locations but so far that hasn’t panned out.”
Although there were many theories and opinions from former students and residents, it was difficult to understand without looking at aerial photos and maps. to Reduce down a There are few options. An initial effort to find remains using ground-penetrating radar wasn’t successful, but last summer an Iowa man volunteered to Visit to Site for dogs are Trained to You can detect the faint smell of decaying remains.
Two dogs signaled that they smelled remains separately. a A small piece of land that is sandwiched between railroad tracks. a Cornfield a The canal was dug quickly after the earthquake. boarding school closed. Closed in late October or early November a Two trips were made by a National Park Service team to To detect what was below the soil, we used ground-penetrating radar to inspect the site.
Their results should be available in November.
To gaiashkibos, a Ponca Tribe of Nebraska member. boarding school The overwhelming sadness that comes with searching for the cemetery is overwhelming. However, she stated that it is an important step in honoring the children as well as recognizing their achievements. to endure.
“To heal, we have to have answers and bring closure,” She said. “We need to know, where are those children?”