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Your Call

Survivors of Indian boarding schools discuss healing & accountability

Flandreau Indian School, South Dakota, choir
Library of Congress
Flandreau Indian School, South Dakota, choir

On this edition of Your Call, we continue our conversation about the Road to Healing tour, an initiative organized by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to hear from survivors of Indian boarding schools.

The United States operated or actively supported 408 Indian boarding schools between 1819 and 1969, according to the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report. More than 150 were run by churches, about half each by Catholic and Protestant groups, according to the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition. Many children who attended these schools were forced to cut their hair, beaten for speaking their language, and sexually abused.

We’re speaking with three survivors who recently shared their stories to find out more about how their lives and families have been affected by their experiences. What does healing and accountability look like?


Dr. Ramona Klein, retired educator and enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa

Brought Plenty, artist and member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Web Resources:

WBUR: A survivor shares her experience at a Native American boarding school

Indian Country Today: Road to Healing: Deb Haaland pledges boarding school truths will be uncovered

The Salt Lake Tribune: Navajo women speak about experiences at Native American boarding schools

The Atlantic: The Traumatic Legacy of Indian Boarding Schools

Bee Soll is a producer with Your Call at KALW, and a producer, writer, and editor at KCBS Radio in San Francisco. She is a former reporter for Crosscurrents and contributor at KPFA Radio.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.