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On this week’s AMDG, host MegAnne Liebsch talks to historian Nicholas Lewis about his research into the history of Jesuit-run boarding schools for Indigenous children. These schools were part of a larger U.S. government attempt to assimilate Indigenous peoples into white European culture from the 1820s to as late as the 1970s. Indigenous families were compelled to send their children to boarding schools, effectively stripping children of their language, culture and community.

Jesuit leadership in the U.S. knew that Jesuits administered a number of such schools, but accounts varied as to how many, where they were located, and for how long. So in January of 2022, Nick was hired to examine the archives and identify some of these basic facts. His research has confirmed 24 mission locations where the Jesuits ran a boarding school for Native children, a full list of which can be found on our website and is linked below.

We invited Nick on the podcast to discuss his findings and give us a broad overview of this history.

Warning: This episode deals with trauma, as well as mentions of physical and sexual abuse. Take care while listening.

Further resources:

AMDG is a production of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States.

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