fbpx
facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1
 

PORTLAND, Ore.—The souls of more than 300 Alaska Native people who died throughout the 20th century at a psychiatric hospital more than 1,700 miles from their homes were released on their journey into the afterlife this month.

Alaska Native relatives and allies, seated around a circle in an all-day ceremony on March 9, donned regalia, prayed, sang songs, shared stories, and danced in honor of their ancestors who never came home.

Tlingit elder Bob Sam, 70, a lifelong repatriation expert and cemetery caretaker in Alaska, led the ceremony. Behind him stood a table full of children’s toys: teddy bears, marbles, and games were offered up as gifts for the young departed souls.

“In Alaska, as living people, we suffer racism, prejudice, hatred,” Sam told the attendees. “But many people don't know that our dead suffer more. Our dead are neglected and forgotten people."

Read the story at Native News Online.

More Stories Like This

Army to Send Home 11 Native Children from Former Indian Boarding School
Tribal Nations Receive $411,000 to Document Impact of Federal Indian Boarding School Era
Tribes Ask Court to End North Dakota’s Appeal of Native Voting Rights Victories
USDA and North Dakota College Team Up to Distribute Traditional Seeds

Native Perspective.  Native Voices.  Native News. 

We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers.  We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.

 
About The Author
Jenna Kunze
Author: Jenna KunzeEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Senior Reporter
Jenna Kunze is a staff reporter covering Indian health, the environment and breaking news for Native News Online. She is also the lead reporter on stories related to Indian boarding schools and repatriation. Her bylines have appeared in The Arctic Sounder, High Country News, Indian Country Today, Tribal Business News, Smithsonian Magazine, Elle and Anchorage Daily News. Kunze is based in New York.