Opinion: Unearthing Fort Simcoe’s truths is crucial | Opinion
, 2022-10-09 03:00:00,
It’s human nature to be curious about your ancestors — just look at the fascination with sites like ancestry.com, which help people trace the roots of their family trees.
We might be proud, embarrassed or simply amused by what we know of our forebears. An accomplished aunt, an eccentric grandfather, maybe a great-great-uncle no one ever talks about in front of the children.
Good or bad, though, somehow there’s a comforting connection there. We all carry a little piece of those people and their colorful lives, which helps us define who we are.
But a pain that no others can fully grasp shadows Native family histories: the injustice of stolen lands, the indignities of forced cultural assimilation, the grief of murdered, tortured or lost ancestors.
Many families will never know the truth of what happened to their ancestors. There aren’t that many handy genealogy lookup sites to find the bones of the thousands of people brutally pushed aside and plowed under as white immigrants made their way West in the past few centuries.
New efforts are afoot, however, that might bring some answers about White Swan’s notorious Fort Simcoe, which served as a boarding school for Native children from 1860-1922.
In May, a first-of-its-kind federal report on Native boarding schools confirmed that at least 500 children died in 408 schools the government operated…
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