Canton Insane Asylum for American Indians
canada goose clearance sale A Canada Goose online page is missing from most history books the story of the federal government’s. Located in the tiny town of Canton, South Dakota, it was the first and only federal asylum created solely for American Indians. During its 32 years, it would house more than 350 Indians from tribes throughout North America. canada goose clearance sale
The Indian affairs commissioner under President Roosevelt called reports of the asylum “reminiscent of the terrible indictments Charles Dickens leveled against English poorhouses and schools.”
Canada Goose Parka Documents show some who were confined at canada goose clearance Canton had no mental illness at all but were confined there because they fought with a white man or an agency. Canada Goose Parka
canada goose uk shop On the town’s east end golfers play the city’s Hiawatha course. This course contains 121 graves clustered between the fourth and fifth fairways. These graves hold the remains of Indians who died in the federal government’s Canton insane asylum. canada goose uk shop
Canada Goose Jackets Just how these men, women, and children buried here lived and died at Canton remains a mystery. cheap Canada Goose What does remain canada goose black friday sale of their lives is listed on a beige stone canada goose coats on sale on the burial ground’s canada goose west side. That stone holds a dark plaque which lists their names and dates of death. Canada Goose Jackets
Canada Goose online Clara Christopher worked at the asylum since its inception. In 1979 when she was 91, a graduate student recorded Christopher’s memories of the asylum. Canada Goose online
Christopher worked at the Canton asylum for 25 years in a variety of jobs ranging from cook to head of supplies. She remembered new patients:
Christopher: Some would see that sign “asylum” and it hurt ‘em; some were heartbroken. I always felt for em. I felt for them as I would anyone. I could never stand to see them someplace and hold my ears so I couldn’t hear ‘em. Sometimes you know out on the reservation they had something against an Indian, and he was vicious or something like that, and they’d scribe “insane.”
Canada Goose Coats On Sale The bulk of information about the asylum’s operation, patients, and staff comes from the writings of Dr. Samuel Silk Clinical Director at then the country’s premier canada goose outlet psychiatric hospital, St. Elizabeth’s in Washington, DC. Silk inspected the Canton asylum in 1929 and filed a report: https://www.canadagoosejacketsoutsale.com Canada Goose Coats On Sale
Canada Goose Online Silk report: Three patients were found padlocked in rooms. Canada Goose Online
32 year old Frank Hart is a living link to the asylum’s history. While researching his family tree he discovered his great grandfather had been held at the Canton asylum. Hart, an Ojibwe who lives in Calgary, Alberta sifts through a small file he’s collected about his family; all that remains of his great grandfather’s life are a few government documents. Hart says his great grandfather Marcus served on the Red Lake Tribal Council of the Minnesota Ojibwe:
canada goose uk outlet Hart : His Indian name was (Missee way guh noo) which means “like a war eagle flying all over the place in the sky.” He was a leader, he was a warrior and he was a good man. He’d tell you just how it is right to your face Canada Goose sale and doesn’t care how it’s going to affect you but he wouldn’t lie to you. canada goose uk outlet
Federal records show a Red Lake Reservation superintendent committed Hart to the Canton asylum after he showed symptoms of senile psychosis during a hospital stay. The records indicate Hart was a heavy drinker who one night lay down in a fire and suffered second and third degree burns. Frank Hart says his relatives canada goose deals have never talked to him about alcoholism and his great grandfather.
canada goose black friday sale Records show Indians such as Marcus Hart were stripped of their Indian identities upon arrival at the Canton asylum. Hart would’ve gone from the open woods of northern Minnesota to being locked in a ward where sealed windows held in the stench of un emptied chamberpots filled with human waste. canada goose black friday sale
buy canada goose jacket cheap At night, the only light flickered from an attendant’s lantern passing occasionally on rounds. buy canada goose jacket cheap
canadian goose jacket Golfer Arne Lunder is one of the asylum’s last living witnesses. He’s lived in Canton for 84 years. Today he plays the course’s sixth hole. Canada Goose Jackets To his left is the Indian burial ground. He remembers accompanying his mother on visits there. canadian goose jacket
Lunder: The women were all in the front laying around on the grass out in front there. One of the head nurses came out and said “Bring her back in.” She was laying on a blanket so they took one on each corner (he laughs) and drug her up the steps. It really impressed me; I thought it was kinda cruel.
Even for its time, Canada Goose Parka the asylum did not meet minimum standards required of an institution treating the mentally ill.
Grob: What you had here was an institution you could only define as deviant. It wasn’t doing what a lot of other hospitals if you go through state’s records, the person running it had no contact with psychiatry.
canada goose coats on sale During a subsequent investigation, St. canada goose clearance sale Elizabeth’s Dr. Silk concluded many of the Indians confined at Canton were locked up because they had clashed with white men, a school or an agency not because they were mentally ill. canada goose coats on sale
Canada Goose Outlet Silk’s report: Would not the United States, if it could be held liable at all, be liable in these cases for enormous damages? The records of the asylum itself show them to be perfectly sane. They are known to be perfectly sane, to the director of the asylum Dr. Hummer. But he assumed the position that these people were below normal mentally deficient and they should only be discharged after they were sterilized, and as he did not have any means of doing this, there was nothing left but to keep them there. Canada Goose Outlet
cheap Canada Goose Canton staff restrained many asylum patients in metal wristlets, camisoles, and shackles with iron chains. Silk noted that one girl who suffered from epilepsy miraculously escaped severe burns even though she was chained near a hot water pipe during her seizures. cheap Canada Goose
University of South Dakota history professor Herbert Hoover says the creation of the asylum most likely grew out of an ignorance of Indian culture; not an organized plot designed to confine sane Indians.
Hoover: The great fault was not in investigating how native Americans dealt with insanity prior to the arrival Canada Goose Outlet of whites. So we took western European strategies of dealing with insanity. It really was a well intentioned desire to accomplish cultural imperialism without killing Indian people. And this was a part of it.
The Canton asylum was created in 1902, a time when the United States’ official Indian policy was assimilation. Hoover’s University of South Dakota colleague Leonard Bruguier says whatever the intent behind the asylum, it was a convenient tool for reservation agents. Bruguier is a member of the Yankton Sioux and director of the Institute of American Indian studies at the University of South Dakota.
Bruguier: So in order for the agent to feel more comfortable being surrounded by yes people, it would be very easy for him to say “This person’s insane,” and have him shipped to Canton to be administered by a whole different set of rules. Basically you’d just be able to get rid of ‘em.
canada goose factory sale John Collier, buy canada goose jacket cheap the commissioner of Indian Affairs in the Roosevelt administration ordered the Canton asylum closed and the patients sent to St. Elizabeth’s in Washington DC. In response, the residents of Canton canadian goose jacket waged a federal court battle to keep the asylum open. The asylum was a major contributor to Canton’s economy in 1933; a time when the country was plunged deep canada goose store into economic depression. Members of the nearby Rosebud Sioux also opposed Canton’s closing. They didn’t want their friends and relatives in the asylum sent thousands of miles east canada goose factory sale.