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Reconciliation: An old idea being revived

Reconciliation: An old idea being revived


Back in 1990, Gov. George Mickelson and NSNT Publisher Tim Giago, came up with an idea about reconciliation between the white race and the Native Americans of the State. They were putting their ideas on paper when the Governor was killed in a plane crash. When Mickelson died the idea of reconciliation died with him.

It seems that the hopes of reconciliation are still floating around. The latest idea of reconciliation comes from Red Cloud Indian School, once known as Holy Rosary Indian Mission.

HRM got its start on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1888. It was a school designed to replace one culture and one language with another. Students were forbidden to speak the Lakota language. The Jesuit priests attempted to instill in the children that the spirituality practiced by their parents and grandparents was heathen. There was only one true religion and that was Catholicism.

The school failed in many ways to totally convert the children and yet by discouraging the children from embracing their own history, the school did a lot of damage. After leaving HRM so many of the boys and girls ended up as drug addicts and alcoholics. Many ended up in State prison for crimes they committed while under the influence. One or two ended up going to their deaths in the electric chair for murder. How is reconciliation going to mend these terrible glitches?

Tim Giago, and Lydia Whirlwind Soldier of Rosebud, are two Lakota who survived the boarding schools. Neither is willing to jump on the reconciliation bandwagon. The spiritual, mental and physical damage they incurred is not to be washed away with the word “reconciliation.”

Mickelson and Giago had a game plan for reconciliation. What is the game plan offered by Red Cloud or any other school or entity seeking reconciliation? Let’s hear it.


(Contact the Editorial Board of Native Sun News Today at


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