Red Cloud Indian School Working To Overcome Boarding School History


      The Red Cloud Indian School on the edge of Pine Ridge has undertaken a reckoning with its troubled past. 

       The Catholic institution was originally part of a network of boarding schools across North America where Native children were required to attend so they could be assimilated into the dominant white, English-speaking, Christian culture. 

       School officials say Red Cloud is very different now with Lakota language, staffing and culture all central to its current mission, but it still has a legacy that has alienated many – which led last year to the creation of a Truth and Healing process. 

       Red Cloud says it recognizes it can “never authentically serve our community or honor our own staff members, students and families, parishioners, and artists with whom we partner if we do not first openly and humbly address the tragic injustices in our past.”

      The Truth and Healing process includes listening to the stories of former students, delving into archives, and searching for unmarked graves.