In partnership with Native News Online, this project is a deep dive into the Government Boarding School in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, which was operated from 1895 to 1972 by the state government. The school’s purpose was to assimilate Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa children, and to erase those cultures from existence in the process. Like other schools of its kind, this institution was violent, and many students died from abuse and neglect.
Lac du Flambeau was one of three state-run schools, while others were run by churches. Many boarding schools for Indigenous children had graveyards where students who died were buried. Survivors remember widespread abuse and neglect. The Lac du Flambeau school still stands and has been turned into a museum.
Using records from the school and other state-run boarding schools in Wisconsin, as well as interviews with survivors' families, Yvonne Krumrey pieces together an understanding of what life was like for the children who attended. The goal of this project is to report on the daily lives of boarding school students in Wisconsin and to show that language and cultural revitalization efforts are growing, led by community members with family ties to the boarding school era.