Genoa Reconciliation Project
The Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project is an online site that provides information and documents related the boarding school in Genoa, Nebraska. The school was one of a network of boarding schools across the country that housed Native American children taken from their parents.
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[00:00:01.580]At the Great Plains Art Center,
[00:00:03.350]Judi Gaiashkibos reflects on her mother.
[00:00:06.110]Thankful that she was a strong leader and resilient,
[00:00:10.130]like all of our people are.
[00:00:12.740]Her mother was a student
[00:00:14.070]at the Genoa, U.S. Indian Industrial school.
[00:00:17.150]One of a network of boarding schools across the country
[00:00:20.550]that housed native American children,
[00:00:22.670]taken from their families.
[00:00:24.510]This was a school to eradicate the culture.
[00:00:27.180]It was in essence cultural genocide.
[00:00:31.060]So it was to destroy the Indian in the child.
[00:00:34.000]One building from the original school
[00:00:35.890]is now a museum in Genoa
[00:00:38.220]and the Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project,
[00:00:42.080]helps fill the gaps in this painful history.
[00:00:45.230]University of Nebraska Lincoln historian,
[00:00:47.590]Margaret Jacobs, says the project
[00:00:49.710]provides an online repository for documents.
[00:00:53.070]We're creating something we're calling a personography,
[00:00:56.950]where we're trying to get all the names of the students
[00:01:01.720]and link their names with documents and family members.
[00:01:06.620]Gaiashkibos is co-chair of a counsel,
[00:01:09.020]advising the project.
[00:01:10.550]She says the school provided a harsh environment
[00:01:13.490]that had little to do with education.
[00:01:15.770]The children went to bed hungry
[00:01:17.780]and they kept them very vulnerable,
[00:01:20.190]so they didn't want them to be happy, nourished children.
[00:01:24.040]If you ran away, you were beaten.
[00:01:25.770]If you wet the bed, you were shamed.
[00:01:28.635]The effort to bring details to light
[00:01:31.010]is an important step in acknowledging
[00:01:33.080]the Native American experience.
[00:01:35.060]The boarding schools were related to an,
[00:01:37.656]an effort to really remove all native people from land,
[00:01:42.950]so when you think about it,
[00:01:43.990]we're all benefiting from this land that we live on,
[00:01:48.260]so I feel like we all have a responsibility
[00:01:50.420]to know about this history.
[00:01:52.380]Gaiashkibos says it's healing
[00:01:54.260]to tell the stories of her mother
[00:01:55.910]and other students.
[00:01:57.240]My two daughters and five grandchildren,
[00:01:59.240]of course never knew my mother,
[00:02:00.870]but they know her through the stories.
[00:02:02.200]And now through the unveiling of the, all of these records,
[00:02:05.480]they're going to know more about this
[00:02:07.610]and everyone should know about this.
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