And Our Mothers Cried

A Chickasaw Storytellers' Series

For several generations of Native American children, including Chickasaws, the reality of the late 19th and early 20th centuries meant separation from their families and indoctrination into a culture that wasn’t their own. This was the boarding school era, with the infamous slogan, "Kill the Indian. Save the Man." Children were sent to distant boarding schools to learn skills that would assimilate them into white culture. The schools emphasized labor-intensive trades and a basic education focused on English, with most students prohibited from speaking their native language. Separation from family and community supported the goal to erase their way of life. In this documentary, you’ll meet some of the Chickasaws who lived through the boarding school era. Now tribal elders, they say the boarding school experience was filled with unforgettable moments – some good and some they wish they could forget.

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