News & Information

Unspoken: Legacy of Indian Boarding Schools

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Feb 26, 2016 10:00 pm
  • 50:17

Guests: John Howe, Director of the documentary “Unspoken”; Davina Spotted Elk, Member of the Navajo Nation, American Indian Education Coordinator for the Salt Lake City School District At the height of America’s Westward Expansion, one US official stated his perspective towards American Indians this way: “Kill the native, save the man”. Tribes were forced onto reservations and into boarding schools designed to train up a generation Indians that would fit into white culture. The result? One member of the Sioux tribe, Ron His Horse Is Thunder, described it this way: “They’ve stripped our language away by sending us to boarding to schools. . . our culture, our way of thinking about spirituality. . .  You cannot imagine the damage they have done to our culture by sending our kids to boarding schools.”  This man is one of the many voices featured in a new documentary by John Howe of KUED public television. The film, “Unspoken,” aired recently in Utah and traces the history and legacy of American Indian Boarding Schools, including the conflicted relationship tribes have with the system in recent decades as they have gained control over the schools. John Howe and Davina Spotted Elk discuss with us the documentary and its implications.