‘We’re still here’: past and present collide at a Native American boarding school


Sherman Indian high school – previously called the Sherman Institute – in 1903.Photograph: Sepia Times/UIG/Getty Images

Sherman Indian high school is among the last remnants of a brutal history that students and government are reckoning with

With other students’ eyes on her, Wicahpi Medicine’s heart raced, but as she started dancing, she felt proud to embody her Lakota heritage. The beads on her jingle dress swished and her long braids bounced as she moved quickly and lightly in her moccasins.

“People think that we’re extinct – they think we don’t really exist anymore,” said the 17-year-old student, who goes by Kimmi. Dancing at Sherman Indian high school cultural week, she said she was showing “we are still here”.

Medicine is one of more than 200 students from 76 Native American tribes who come from across the country to attend the all-Native American boarding school, which opened in Riverside, California…

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