Boarding School – World Socialist CWI http://worldsocialist-cwi.org/ Sat, 25 Jun 2022 02:50:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://worldsocialist-cwi.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-4-150x150.png Boarding School – World Socialist CWI http://worldsocialist-cwi.org/ 32 32 A survivor’s story: Snohomish man, 76, lives with the trauma of residential school https://worldsocialist-cwi.org/a-survivors-story-snohomish-man-76-lives-with-the-trauma-of-residential-school/ Sat, 25 Jun 2022 02:50:00 +0000 https://worldsocialist-cwi.org/a-survivors-story-snohomish-man-76-lives-with-the-trauma-of-residential-school/ TULALIP – Often, during the morning mass, “a handful of children” moved and hit the floor of the church, fainting from hunger. “We were always hungry,” said Matthew War Bonnet Jr., 76, of Snohomish, a survivor of St. Francis Indian School in South Dakota. “That’s what I remember – being hungry all the time.” Sometimes, […]]]>

TULALIP – Often, during the morning mass, “a handful of children” moved and hit the floor of the church, fainting from hunger.

“We were always hungry,” said Matthew War Bonnet Jr., 76, of Snohomish, a survivor of St. Francis Indian School in South Dakota. “That’s what I remember – being hungry all the time.”

Sometimes, he says, you could get a full meal in the priests’ quarters if you washed their dishes.

Otherwise, the food was mostly yellow or white “porridge”, depending on the meal. The best meal came on Sunday: cornflakes in the morning and bologna sandwiches for lunch. War Bonnet remembers that bologna was the only meat at school.

In 1952, authorities took War Bonnet to the small Catholic boarding school on the Rosebud Sioux reservation in the heart of the Great Plains. He was 6 years old.

Sitting at the Hibulb Cultural Center seven decades later, he recited a line from the Ave Maria in Latin: “Dominus tecum…” He passed away.

War Bonnet, of the Sicangu Lakota people, spoke Lakota at home. At school, he learned Latin, English and Spanish. He has not set foot in a Catholic church since his eight years at Saint-François. But these bits of Latin prayer are ingrained in him, like the abuse and neglect he suffered.

The school was one of 30 the government funded or operated in South Dakota from 1819 to 1969. St. Francis opened in 1886. It operated under federal contract from 1895 to 1932, receiving government funding and separating children from their families, lands and culture with the purported goal of education.

The War Bonnet siblings also attended St. Francis. The school did not allow them to see each other. He remembers seeing his sisters on “payday”.

The school assigned chores to children from the age of 5: shoemaking, laundry, cooking, baking, tilling the soil, planting potatoes and harvesting. Saturday was “payday”.

“I have two candy bars,” recalls War Bonnet. Afterwards, the students were able to watch a film, separated into groups of boys and girls.

The days dragged on. The students woke up at 5:30 a.m. and walked to the church. The mass lasted almost an hour, or even longer on Sundays. The school day began with catechism, then university: maths, history, geography. Then back to the church for the blessing.

On Thursday, the children confessed their sins. The adults forced those who did not participate in the sacrament to stay outside, enduring temperatures that were sometimes well below zero.

Despite the exhausting work, children often have trouble sleeping. They could hear others crying for their mothers. The priests whipped them with a whip on horseback and in a carriage if they wet the bed. Sometimes they shocked the children with a cattle prod.

There was a large bathroom in the boys’ dormitory, War Bonnet said. Sometimes the priest was there.

“So a lot of kids would soil the bed,” he said. “Then they would be punished for it. The (priests) would take their strap and strap them for it.

But a strapping was better than going to the bathroom with the priest, War Bonnet said.

“A lot of times those decisions were easy to make – you stayed in bed,” War Bonnet said.

Corporal punishment was common for minor offences. Priests tied up boys for rolling a marble in the dorms, for speaking Lakota, and often for inexplicable reasons.

“A priest once threw my older brother, Joe War Bonnet, down a flight of stairs and broke his arm,” War Bonnet said. “I think that priest was abusing her in other ways.”

Letters from priests to Catholic superiors have documented sexual abuse in south dakota boarding schoolsincluding on the Rosebud Reserve.

War Bonnet was not ready to share some of his stories with his children, wife and siblings. But he found the strength to testify the trauma before a US House committee in Mayto the output a long-awaited U.S. Department of the Interior report on Native American boarding schools.

The priests starved War Bonnet as punishment – a memory he had almost forgotten, but a sister reminded him of it many years later. He was forced to sit alone at every meal for 10 days straight, and the priests only gave him a glass of water and a piece of bread at every meal. He doesn’t remember why.

“Whatever I did must have been pretty bad,” War Bonnet said.

Her favorite memories from her school-age years are having time off on the occasional Saturday or coming home for two months every summer. Those were “happy times”.

He could see his parents. He could eat. He could be a kid and “climb the tallest tree, sit up there and let the breeze rock you back and forth,” War Bonnet said with a smile.

“Then,” he said, “you had to go back to school.”

Isabelle Breda: 425-339-3192; isabella.breda@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @BredaIsabella.

Read the rest of this series, The Stolen Children of Tulalip.


]]>
Native American leaders push for boarding school commission https://worldsocialist-cwi.org/native-american-leaders-push-for-boarding-school-commission/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 23:55:51 +0000 https://worldsocialist-cwi.org/native-american-leaders-push-for-boarding-school-commission/ The federal government has a responsibility to Native American tribes, Alaska Native villages, and Native Hawaiian communities to fully support and revitalize the education, language, and cultural practices that past boarding school policies sought to destroy, said US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Wednesday. Haaland testified before a U.S. Senate committee considering legislation to create […]]]>

The federal government has a responsibility to Native American tribes, Alaska Native villages, and Native Hawaiian communities to fully support and revitalize the education, language, and cultural practices that past boarding school policies sought to destroy, said US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Wednesday.

Haaland testified before a U.S. Senate committee considering legislation to create a National Truth and Healing Commission to address intergenerational trauma stemming from the legacy of Native American boarding schools in the United States.

As the first and only Native American Cabinet Secretary, Haaland’s voice cracked with emotion and her eyes filled as she addressed the committee.

Haaland, from Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico, said the forced assimilation that happened for a century and a half through the boarding school initiative was both traumatic and violent. She noted that she herself was a product of these policies as her grandparents were taken from their families and sent to boarding schools.

“The federal Indian boarding school policy is part of the American story that we need to tell,” Haaland said. “While we cannot change this history, I believe our nation will benefit from a full understanding of the truth about what happened and a focus on healing the wounds of the past.”

Tribal leaders and advocates from Maine to Alaska and Hawaii joined Haaland in expressing support for a national commission, saying it would provide many with the opportunity to have their personal stories validated.

The dark history of Native American boarding schools – where children were not allowed to speak their language and were often abused – has been deeply felt across Indian Country and across generations.

Beginning with the Indian Civilization Act of 1819, the United States enacted laws and policies to establish and support boarding schools. The goal was to civilize Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Hawaiians. Religious and private institutions often received federal funds and were willing partners.

The Haaland agency in May released a one-of-a-kind report who named more than 400 schools that the federal government has supported to strip Native Americans of their identity. The study has so far identified at least 500 children who died in some schools, but that number is expected to rise into the thousands or tens of thousands as research continues.

The department is also planning a year-long tour to collect stories from residential school survivors for an oral history collection. Haaland said one of the first stops will be in Oklahoma.

As for legislation to create a truth and healing commission, it had its first congressional hearing last month. It is sponsored by two Native American representatives from the United States – Democrat Sharice Davids of Kansas, who is Ho-Chunk, and Republican Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who is Chickasaw.

Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren is leading the effort in the Senate.

The proposed commission would have a broader scope than the Interior inquiry to search for records with subpoena power. It would make recommendations to the federal government within five years of its adoption, possible in the US House but more difficult in the Senate.

Working to uncover the truth and create a path to healing would require financial resources in Indian Country, which the federal government has chronically underfunded.

Kirk Francis, chief of the Penobscot Indian Nation in Maine, said it would be difficult to quantify the cost of cultural damage from the residential school era. But he said congressional leaders should have conversations every year when setting funding priorities, to ensure tribal programs are properly supported.

He said any work by a national commission would inevitably open up old wounds.

“It will be a difficult time and communities will need to be able to bear this historic trauma through treatment. Resources are going to be a big part of that success,” he said.

Norma Ryūkō Kawelokū Wong Roshi, political aide to former Hawaii Governor John Waiheʻe, said the work of the Department of the Interior and any future commission should be seen as steps in a process that will span several generations.

“It’s not one and done,” Wong said. “What took hundreds of years to tear to the point of shattering cannot be repaired, much less propelled us to a more prosperous future with a few studies, reports and hearings. There is work to be done and it can be fruitful.

]]>
George Lamming, famous Caribbean novelist, dies at 94 https://worldsocialist-cwi.org/george-lamming-famous-caribbean-novelist-dies-at-94/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 04:26:00 +0000 https://worldsocialist-cwi.org/george-lamming-famous-caribbean-novelist-dies-at-94/ Placeholder while loading article actions George Lamming, a Barbadian author who placed the legacy of colonialism at the center of his novels and lyrical essays, earning a reputation as one of the finest Caribbean writers of his generation, died on June 4 in a nursing home in Bridgetown, the capital of his country. He was […]]]>
Placeholder while loading article actions

George Lamming, a Barbadian author who placed the legacy of colonialism at the center of his novels and lyrical essays, earning a reputation as one of the finest Caribbean writers of his generation, died on June 4 in a nursing home in Bridgetown, the capital of his country. He was 94 years old.

His death was announced by Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados. “Wherever George Lamming went,” she said in a statement, “he embodied that voice and spirit that cried out in Barbados and the Caribbean.” Mr Lamming’s daughter, Natasha Lamming-Lee, said he was ill but did not name a cause.

Alongside novelists and poets such as Kamau Brathwaite, Wilson Harris, Edgar Mittelholzer, VS Naipaul, Andrew Salkey and Derek Walcott, Mr. Lamming helped define a new Caribbean literature in the mid-twentieth century, exploring questions of history , politics, language and freedom at a time when colonial rule was giving way to independence.

Raised on a former sugar cane plantation outside of Bridgetown, he has written books highlighting the experiences of people marginalized because of their race, language, gender or income, and has broadcast a message of liberation and inclusion in his essays and speeches. “I’m kind of a preacher,” he said in a 2002 interview with the Small Ax newspaper. “I am a man with a message.”

Like Naipaul and many other Caribbean writers of their generation, Mr. Lamming launched his literary career in London, where he wrote his first semi-autobiographical novel, “In the Castle of My Skin” (1953), at the age of 23 years old. He then reviewed the experience. of migration in “The Emigrants” (1954), a dark and sketchy novel about West Indian expatriates in England, and in his collection of essays “The Pleasures of Exile” (1960), which a New York Times reviewer described as “a neo-Gothic piece with arc-shaped ideas like flying buttresses.”

“My subject,” wrote Mr. Lamming in the latter, “is the migration of the West Indian writer, as a colonial and an exile, from his native kingdom, once inhabited by Caliban, to the tumultuous island of Prospero and its language.”

Mr. Lamming returned to the Caribbean for novels such as “Of Age and Innocence” (1958) and “Season of Adventure” (1960), which were set on the fictional island of San Cristobal, where ethnic African groups, Indians and Chinese were fighting. to overcome mutual suspicion while uniting against the white establishment.

It was difficult, he noted, to forge a new identity after years of colonialism. “I had always lived in the shadow of a meaning that others had given to my presence in the world”, observes an independentist leader in “Age and Innocence”, “and I had played no role in the making in this sense, like a chair that is entirely at the mercy of the idea guiding the hand of the man who builds it.

Mr. Lamming had delved into issues of race and ethnicity since the publication of his first and best-known novel. Named after verses by Walcott, “In the Castle of My Skin” shifted between third and first person while chronicling the upbringing of a young man named G, who joins his friends in fishing, diving for the coins thrown by tourists at the beach wondering how the king’s face ends up on pennies.

He also witnesses a workers’ riot, develops a dawning awareness of racial inequality (“No black boy wanted to be white, but it was also true that no black boy liked the idea of ​​being noir”) and went to Trinidad to work as a teacher. , just like Mr. Lamming did after high school.

“I tried to reconstruct the world of my childhood and adolescence,” Mr. Lamming wrote in the introduction to the 1983 edition of the novel. “It was also the world of an entire Caribbean society.”

The book won the Somerset Maugham Award for young writers in Britain and was praised by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o and American novelist Richard Wright, who wrote the introduction of the American edition.

Critics were also impressed: “Mr. Lamming is a poet by instinct rather than a novelist, a man with an individual and almost private approach to the English language,” wrote Orville Prescott of The Times. “His prose is poetic, sensual, imaginative, adorned with whimsical figures of speech and surprising twists of language.”

In part, Mr. Lamming’s prose style was shaped by his belief in gaining “spiritual possession of the landscape in which you live.” For him, this meant developing an understanding of the “rhythm of the wind…the smell of the sea…the texture of stone and rock”.

“They are not objects outside of you,” Caribbean Beat Magazine quoted him as saying. “They are part of your consciousness.”

George William Lamming was born in Carrington Village on June 8, 1927. His parents were unmarried and he barely knew his father. Her mother was a housewife who later married a policeman.

Mr Lamming grew up during a time of social upheaval, prefiguring Barbados’ independence from Britain in 1966, and said he and his peers suffered a more psychological form of colonial cruelty than physical. “It was a terror of the mind; a daily exercise in self-harm,” he wrote in a 2002 essay. “Black against black in a battle for self-improvement.”

After winning a scholarship to the prestigious Combermere High School, he studied under the literary editor Frank Collymore, who welcomed him into his personal library and encouraged Mr. Lamming’s interest in writing poetry and of prose, publishing some of his early work in the Caribbean magazine BIM.

Mr Lamming then worked at a boarding school in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, teaching English to Hispanic students, before moving to England in 1950, sailing on the same ship as Trinidadian writer Samuel Selvon. “If I hadn’t gone to England,” he told the Washington Post in 1999, “I would have written, but you wouldn’t have heard of me.”

After working in a factory in London, Mr Lamming landed a job with the BBC Colonial Service, where he was a presenter for shows such as “Caribbean Voices”, an influential platform for West Indian writers. He also became active in the city’s literary community, meeting Dylan Thomas and other poets at the Mandrake Club in Soho.

His conversations with English writers were more about business than literature or politics, he recalls: “A very good short-story writer, always in purple velvet, advised me never to visit an editor’s office to talk business without a small gun in my pocket. He gave examples of his success in such encounters.

Mr. Lamming was soon traveling abroad, visiting the United States on a Guggenheim Fellowship and speaking in 1956 at the Congress of Black Writers and Artists in Paris, where he impressed an audience that included James Baldwin and Frantz Fanon.

“Lamming is big, boned, messy, and intense,” Baldwin wrote in an essay on the event, “and one of his real distinctions is his refusal to be bullied into being a real writer. “

With his booming, gravelly voice and crown of graying hair, Mr. Lamming won a wide range of admirers, including Canadian novelist and short-story writer Margaret Laurence. They had a brief affair, according to her biographer James King, and she moved to London with her children in an unsuccessful attempt to settle down with Mr Lamming. (His only marriage, to artist Nina Ghent, had previously ended in divorce.)

By 1967, Mr. Lamming had launched a career in academia, lecturing and working as a writer-in-residence at schools including Brown, Duke, Penn, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. . He returned to Barbados in 1980 and lived for many years at the Atlantis Hotel near the fishing village of Bathsheba, where he said his writing was invigorated by daily swims in the ocean.

Mr. Lamming received the Order of the Caribbean Community in 2008 and a Lifetime Achievement Honor from the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards in 2014.

In addition to his daughter, Lamming-Lee of Silver Spring, Md., survivors include his longtime companion, Esther Phillips; seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. Her son, Gordon, died last year.

Mr Lamming’s later novels include ‘Water With Berries’ (1971), a political allegory centered on a West Indian revolutionary living in London, and ‘Natives of My Person’ (1972), about 16th century explorers and the origins of the colonialism. Towards the end of his life, he was working on a book about Christopher Columbus, imagining that the explorer had been arrested and tried by an indigenous community in the West Indies.

He spent years working on the project, but in a 2002 interview with Caribbean Beat he declined to say when it might be released: “The thing is, with these things, you never end.”

]]>
$5M Donation Will Cultivate Educational, Empathetic Culture At VCUarts Theater – VCU News https://worldsocialist-cwi.org/5m-donation-will-cultivate-educational-empathetic-culture-at-vcuarts-theater-vcu-news/ Thu, 16 Jun 2022 13:52:58 +0000 https://worldsocialist-cwi.org/5m-donation-will-cultivate-educational-empathetic-culture-at-vcuarts-theater-vcu-news/ By Stacy Sneed and Jayla McNeill VCU School of the Arts The Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts Theater Department (VCUarts Theatre) has received a $5 million gift that will create three endowment funds to promote education and social awareness. The funds will be used to examine social justice through the lens of theater […]]]>

The Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts Theater Department (VCUarts Theatre) has received a $5 million gift that will create three endowment funds to promote education and social awareness. The funds will be used to examine social justice through the lens of theater and will be used to cultivate and support an equitable and inclusive culture for all students, faculty and staff.

“It’s important to create art that informs us and challenges our point of view,” said Bonnie McCoy, Chair of the Theater Department. “There are many contemporary topics on which we can use theater as a tool to examine issues related to social justice.”

The donor, James HT McConnell Jr. of Charlottesville, Va., was a supporter of public education and the upbringing of children for most of his adult life. For nearly two decades he supported the National Jewish Theater Foundation. Her love of acting dates back even further to high school. At boarding school before he was old enough to drive, McConnell operated carbon arc lamps for school plays. In college, he expanded his knowledge from simple lighting to sound and stage craft construction and did technical work in a dinner theater.

“Social justice theater is about engaging the audience,” McConnell said. “The goal is very appropriate today. VCU is the best school in the Commonwealth for this purpose.

James HT McConnell Jr. (Courtesy of James HT McConnell Jr.)

“The drama department is a great way to reach a lot of people with a lot of messages,” McConnell said. “There is no right or wrong interpretation of the performance that we have just seen. It is that each audience member can come out with a different interpretation. The performance can still be very successful. That is a very rare type of educational experience where different people come out of the same exhibit with different feelings.It’s a nice teaching tool not to limit the response or outcome.

Carmenita Higginbotham, Dean of the School of Arts, said: “These funds will continue to support rigorous work and expand our interests in the Department of Theater and Social Justice. We are delighted and honored to receive this gift to the School of Arts.

Of the funds, $1.5 million will be used to establish the James HT McConnell Jr. Theater Fellowship in Social Justice, which will support graduate students with a focus on advocating for social justice through theater. The remaining funds will establish the James HT McConnell Jr. Theater Chair in Social Justice and the James HT McConnell Jr. Theater Faculty Fund in Social Justice, which will support a chair and faculty whose work, curriculum and community orientation demonstrate a commitment to social justice. Justice.

“It’s important to have graduate students in the field who are able to get out there and use theater as a medium of education,” McConnell said. “Whether it’s just light performance or something more serious.”