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Opinion
Tim Giago: Culturecide started with innocent children


"When the settlers moved west they saw it as their responsibility to disrupt the civilization of the Lakota. Of course we know this as Manifest Destiny. Just as the Spaniards made it an edict to either convert the indigenous people of South and Central America or kill them if they did not convert, so too did the settlers moving west try to convert a people by destroying their culture. Culturecide?

Of course, changing a culture is something that cannot be done over night. As so many conquerors have discovered in history, the best way to create a new culture in their own image is to start with the innocent children.

Institutionalization seemed to be the best way. But in order to do this the new government of the United States needed help. It turned to the many Christian churches and organizations that were already intent upon saving the souls of the so-called heathens. In the late 1800s the government and the church convinced tribal leaders like Red Cloud and others to donate land to the Catholic Church (and other religions) in order to construct Indian missions that would be turned into boarding schools.

Institutionalization had begun."

Get the Story:
Tim Giago: After many years traditionalists are taking the lead (The Native American Times 9/18)

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