Native children were put into federal boarding schools. The white man did this to have Indians forget their language, and to adopt the white man’s ways, and to cause generational sadness to the native people. Natives were separated from their ceremonies. When the school year was over, they would be placed in non-native foster homes.
Indian people were suffering from broken hearts and spirits. Native boys were suffering because they were taken from their Elders. Indians drank beer to ease their pain. They had no healthy food to eat, so they lost elders, friends and gained disease. And if they did not eat, they experienced starvation. Sometimes the United States government kept Indian people’s commodities from them on purpose. In 1858, this happened in Sandy Lake, Minnesota. A total number of 670 Ojibwe people starved while trying to collect their annuities.
Today the focus is on our children and grandchildren to learn our history and our language. And diabetes is the main focus in our community. We don’t have enough nutrition for our kids. Our kids are drinking to ease their pain. We should change our ways to the old ways.