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Healing Our Shared Past, Present, and Future: The Hiawatha Indian Insane Asylum - Sioux Falls

Jun 6, 2018 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

From 1902-1933, The Hiawatha Indian Insane Asylum in Canton, SD was the linchpin of federal Indian policy. Native Americans who misbehaved in boarding schools, alienated reservation agents, or suffered from combat-related "shell shock” were sent there. The asylum housed nearly 400 Native inmates from all parts of the United States during the three decades of its existence; more than half died of curable diseases. Although the place was advertised throughout the Midwest as a tourist attraction, the actual conditions described in more than 15 federal investigative reports were: “like a leper colony” and “inhumane.” While politicians wanted to keep this profitable place open, it was the people who worked there, and the inmates, who advocated for its closure. Currently, 127+ Native Americans from 53 tribes are still buried in unmarked graves on the golf course that occupies the asylum site.


Location:   First United Methodist Church
Map:   401 S Spring Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Phone:   605-906-5404

All Dates:
Jun 6, 2018 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

South Dakota Humanities Council Scholars Jerry Fogg and Anne Dilenschneider will present the history of the Hiawatha Indian Insane Asylum in Canton SD.

First United Methodist Church
First United Methodist Church 57104 401 S Spring Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104
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