Indian Boarding Schools 101

Looking Unto Jesus
American Indian Boarding Schools (Part 2)
Saturday, May 8 – 9-11 a.m. | Online
 “Kill the Indian, and save the man.” (Capt. Richard H. Pratt, 1892) Operating under this chilling motto, Indian Boarding Schools were the federal government’s chosen method of forced assimilation. Most of these schools were run by the Church. 
In 2016 the ELCA repudiated the doctrine of discovery, calling for the worshiping communities, synods and the denomination as a whole “…to acknowledge and repent from this church’s complicity in the evils of colonialism in the Americas…”(CA16.02.04). As part of this work, the Saint Paul Area Synod’s Advocates for Racial Equity work group, in partnership with the Minneapolis Area Synod and the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, is offering a two-part event. In part two, we will hear stories from individuals who spent time in Indian Boarding Schools.
The Rev. Joan A. Conroy is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in SD. She serves as a chaplain at the Good Samaritan Society in Maplewood and is a founding member of our synod’s Advocates for Racial Equity. Rev. Conroy is also president of the American Indian Alaska Native Lutheran Association, Inc. Bonnie Jean Steele is the daughter of a genocide and Indian boarding school survivor. Her father was a survivor of racial terror and fled the South as a teenager. Anishinaabe values informed Bonnie’s upbringing and fueled her passion for justice. Bonnie worked as the Director of Pastoral Ministry in a large, suburban Catholic parish then transferred to a large, urban parish where she directed pastoral care and social justice. You are welcome to attend, even if you didn’t participate in Part 1.


Girls praying - Children praying before bedtime at Phoenix Indian School, 1900; photograph, Courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.