“Kill the Indian, Save the Man”

NPR reports: Years ago, thousands of Native American children were forcibly removed from their homes and sent to boarding schools, where the motto of the schools’ founder was “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.”

Children lost touch with their culture, traditions and families. Many suffered horrible abuse, leaving entire generations missing from the one place whose future depended on them — their tribes.

In 1978, Congress tried to put a stop to it. They passed the Indian Child Welfare Act, which says except in the rarest circumstances, Native American children must be placed with their relatives or tribes. It also says states must do everything it can to keep native families together.

But 32 states are failing to abide by the act in one way or another, and, an NPR investigation has found, nowhere is that more apparent than in South Dakota (more on native children in foster care here).

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