indian boarding school survivors

yesterday was boarding school survivors day. i wore my orange t-shirt to show my support for other survivors and those that didnt survive. once i said maybe the ones that didnt survive were the lucky ones. they didnt have to carry all that harm through out their lives. i have seen what it has done to many.

i dont talk about my days at boarding school often. i have told people that they were mean to us. once i told a relative about a time i was beaten so bad that it hurt me when i walked for about three days. that person said i know some one that can top that.

i said i wasnt trying to top anyone. i was merely telling a story about what happened to me. it wasnt a competition about who was treated worse. all that went to that boarding school were affected by it. they all carry different scars.

i ran across people i went to boarding school with a few times over the years. i met some in bars as many of us became alcoholics or drug abusers. many of us got into lotsa fights.  i met some during the aim days.  they were up for fighting against the mistreatment of indians. i met some while i worked as a spiritual advisor in prisons. they were all inmates doing time.  i heard of others that met violent deaths.

once i seen a guy that used to bully us when we were little. he was alot bigger than us so he would show how tough he was by picking on little guys. when i seen him years later i asked him if he remembered bullying us. he denied that. i called him on. i said i aint little anymore. he wouldnt fight. he took off running down the street. i never did like bullies because of guys like him.

one thing that many of us shared in common was we turned back to native religions. i dont know bout others but i wont go into a church today. i know not all religious people are like the ones that mistreated us. i still have memories of them trying to beat the native out of us.

a group that worked with boarding school survivors came here to the rez. they had a workshop. they talked about the work they were doing. at the end they asked any one who went to boarding school to identify themselves. that was it. no one got a chance to tell of their experience at boarding school. i guess we have others that speak for us.

the other day we picked paw paws. we were in the timber about 3 and a half hours. it was walking up and down creek beds, hills and thru thick brush. we did get find paw paws. they are ripening now. they give off a sweet smell.   we will take some to our fall dance.

got chores to do. my dogs and chickens have to be fed and watered everyday. i dont mind, it keeps me busy.

2 Replies to “indian boarding school survivors”

  1. I’m glad you and others survived and hope someday there will be a full accounting for what was done.

  2. yeah the experience toughened us, thats why we survived. this country tends to bury history that is embarrassing. i wrote a whole chapter on boarding school in my book. hopefully i will get it done and published someday.

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