Marty Indian School – Separating Families with Violence

Chief Golden Light Eagle from the Yankton Reservation in South Dakota tells the story of how he and thousands of Native American children were separated from their parents and lived in terror at the Marty Indian School in Marty, South Dakota, run by the Catholic church. Some did not survive the violence inflicted on them by the priests and nuns.

Golden Light Eagle also describes how he helped initiate the filing of lawsuits with statements by thousands. Some made it to the South Dakota Supreme Court but all were defeated.

Although attempts to bring the state and the church to justice have failed so far, Michelle Dephene-Echols, who is an activist and attorney who grew up in Marty and is also a survivor of sexual abuse, recently brought a bill to the South Dakota legislature in hopes of creating a window of opportunity for the survivors of the school to file suit. She explains the legal history and the bill she proposed, that is currently in the South Dakota state legislature.

Finally, Dephene-Echols discusses connections between abuse at the boarding school and Nazis.


Produced by Ursula Ruedenberg and Olivia Brinkmeyer, Pacifica Radio Network.

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