The United States in May acknowledged the damage inflicted on generations of children at federal Indian boarding schools, a system built to assimilate indigenous kids into white society by cutting them off from their parents and tribes.
Geraldine Charbonneau Dubourt, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, welcomed that admission, part of a report released by the Department of the Interior. But what she really wants is justice.
The septuagenarian has waged a so-far fruitless effort to seek restitution for the rapes and other abuses she says she, her eight sisters and scores of other Native American children endured for years at the former St. Paul's Indian Mission School in Marty, South Dakota.
Taking Dubourt by the arm, Gonzalez said her idea of justice has narrowed. She said she'd now settle for this history simply to be acknowledged outside Indian Country.
"Having somebody really listen to us about what happened, that would be a type of justice for me," said Gonzalez, who lives near Marty. "I would like to see people open their minds and see what happened to us."
(Reporting Brad Brooks; Photo Editing Kezia Levitas and Eve Watling; Text Editing Marla Dickerson and Donna Bryson; Layout Eve Watling)