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St. Peter’s speaker discusses Indian schools system

April 14, 2016
Westfield Republican

"One little, two little, three little Indians, four"

That was the opening song sung by the Indian Children in "Unseen Tears," a documentary presented by guest speaker Mary Jenson Anderson, from the Seneca Nation of Indians, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Westfield recently. With grace, she shared the "Historical Trauma" and "Genocide" in our own region, children stolen at age 5.

A system for "total assimilation" was enacted from federal, state, and Christian ideologies which created Indian boarding schools (1790-1920): Thomas (in Irving), Carlisle (Pennsylvania), and "Mush Hole" (Brantford, Ontario), etc. Carlisle would become the model under the direction of Captain Pratt, "Kill the Indian in him, and save the man."

Run by law enforcement and Christian leaders, these military type "institutions did not teach love." They were plagued with abuse of the worst kind: children who lost their identity, culture, family, and lives. "The scars on survivors are multi-generational."

Who will count the loss? Mary is "a Christian."



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