Memorial walk includes a ground blessing of the Rapid City Indian boarding school site
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - People walked together Monday in remembrance of the lives lost at the Rapid City Indian Boarding school. It’s an annual event that happens every Native American Day.
A group of people meet at Sioux Park and walk to Canyon Lake United Methodist Church, near where the boarding school was built. The children’s memorial walk is held to remember those children who lost their lives in the boarding school
The event was packed with emotions from start to finish.
“My grandparents were both in boarding schools, you know. Everyone here that has a connection to Native American ancestry is all product of a boarding school, we’re all survivors of the ones they couldn’t kill,” said a Tokala Inajino youth mentor Christopher Eagle Bear.
With some feeling a sense of happiness that they were remembering the children.
“Today I feel really happy because maybe now these children know that they are being remembered. They deserve to be remembered,” said Violet Catches
But this year the walk held a deeper meaning.
“The other significance is that today was the official ground blessing of the memorial site… officially a groundbreaking so construction will start this fall, and this was the beginning of that,” said Remembering the Children Memorial executive director Amy Sazue.
The memorial is meant to protect, honor, and remember those children lost to the boarding school. It will also stand as a way to educate the next generation.
“Telling this story is the beginning of healing, it’s one component and we’re on track to do that. It feels good to see the young people here who are learning the story, carrying the story, and figuring out how and where they fit into it,” said Sazue.
Some of those young people reciprocated that heartfelt message.
“I just want to let you know now that it’s safe now and we’re going to do what we can to make sure that your voices are heard,” said Eagle Bear “It starts with our healing journey because if we really want to come back, we have to know where we came from and that starts with a small step,”
According to Remember the Children website, the memorial will consist of boulders carved with the names of the children who died. The group says that by using boulders, they will be able to add more names in the future if more victims are identified.
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