south dakota indian reservations. where catholic priests were sent to play.

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by Free Thinker, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. South Dakota Sex Abuse Scandal: A Peek Inside the Church's Drawers

    The letters are casual, even chatty, from officials of St. Francis Mission, on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, in South Dakota, to Catholic Church superiors. The mission ran one of many boarding schools to which Native American parents were required to send their children from the late 1800s until the 1970s, when most of the institutions were closed down or transferred to tribal control.

    "All goes along quietly out here," one priest wrote in 1968, with "good religious and lay faculty" at the mission. There are troublesome staffers, though, including "Chappy," who is "fooling around with little girls -- he had them down the basement of our building in the dark, where we found a pair of panties torn." Later that year, Brother Francis Chapman was still abusing children, though by 1970, he was "a new man," the reports say. In 1973, Chappy again "has difficulty with little girls."

    Some documents are more discreet than explicit. In 1967, two nuns at St. Paul's Indian Mission, on the Yankton Sioux Reservation, also in South Dakota, had excessive "interest in" and "dealings with" older male students, says a report to Church higher-ups. (St. Paul's, pictured below, was renamed Marty Indian School when the tribe took it over in 1975; 2008 graduation tipis are shown in the foreground.) Another nun has "too close a circle of friends, especially two boys."

    What ex-students describe as rampant sexual abuse in South Dakota's half-dozen boarding schools occurred against a backdrop of extreme violence. "I'll never forget my sister's screams as the nuns beat her with a shovel after a pair of scissors went missing," said Mary Jane Wanna Drum, 64, who attended a Catholic institution in Sisseton, South Dakota, for the children of her tribe, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate.

    Izzy Zephier, 62, a Yankton Sioux tribal member, recalled a
    Sunday-evening ritual at St. Paul's Indian Mission. "Those who'd tried to run away were stripped, lined up, and given 40 lashes each with a thick rubber strap," he said.

    Zephier described a prison-like daily routine. "We were marched along barbed-wire-lined sidewalks from locked dorms to locked classrooms and back again; in grade school, we went outdoors within a barbed-wire-topped pen." The church building at St. Paul's had its own crown of thorns in those days; it, too, was surrounded by a barbed-wire fence, lest worshippers made a run for it.
    Rather than offering the children protection, the Church typically demanded secrecy, with clergy telling youngsters they'd be punished or go to hell if they told anyone what had happened to them, said several former students, male and female. The Church appears to have kept close track of these activities, though. "Every bishop has two sets of files -- the public ones and the secret ones chronicling the abuse," said Joelle Casteix, western regional director of Chicago-headquartered support group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). "The Church knows what happened when, and it all comes out in court
  2. achilles28


    It wouldn't surprise me if it was revealed North American colonies endorsed a policy of cultural genocide against native Americans in these boarding schools. By that I mean the Government put known sadists and pedophiles in charge to 'finish the job' against a race they had physically decimated. A house divided against itself cannot stand. That was the point. To break what's left of the native American psyche by destroying the next generation of Indian children, to ensure "their kind" would never threaten colonizers again. And, by their standards, it worked. Most of the native American community in Canada inherited a cycle of addiction and abuse from their parents (and grandparents) who suffered in these boarding schools. Evil.
  3. Really? The government tells the church what to do? Or is it perhaps a case of sociopaths preying on the vulnerable while a complicit church looked to smooth things over and keep it quiet, playing musical chairs with its less saintly brethren.
  4. achilles28


    Sure. Indian Affairs was the jurisdiction of the Federal Government (Canada) who financed the schools, and the churches ran them. America used a similar template, I believe. Are you familiar with the term cultural warfare? Abuse was rampant and went on for decades. Quite a feat unless both the Church AND Government looked the other way.
  5. Since it was the church that ran the operation, and covered its tracks pretty much everywhere as investigative efforts have shown, I don't see how the govenment would necessarily be morally culpable. Too trusting of the church, certainly. But beyond that, I think you might be wearing your conspiracy cone.
  6. Ricter


    "Conspiracy cone", lmao!
  7. achilles28


    The Government is morally culpable because the schools were designed to eradicate Indian culture, in the first place. Their intentions were not snowy or innocent. Quite the opposite. In light of recent history that led up to those schools (war > biological war > genocide ) it's not a far stretch our ancestors took a page out of the British playbook and institutionalized abuse as the final nail in the coffin to devastate - what they saw as - an inferior enemy. North Americans took the same attitude towards black slaves. It's all very similar. You're not seeing the forest from the trees.