Posts Tagged ‘Cushman Boarding School’
Well over a century ago, Native people from Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana and Alaska came to Puyallup Indian Reservation to attend Cushman Indian School on the Puyallup Indian Reservation Washington state. The school became a hospital that treated Native people in the 1920s. It closed in the 1960s.
Now, the Puyallup tribe is trying to find those people or their descendants and fill in the blanks of the Native Americans and Alaska Natives who went there and, too often, died there and were buried in unmarked graves.
“All we have are death certificates or official correspondences, not personal views,” said Amber Santiago, of the tribe’s historic preservation department, tells Tundra Drums, here. “We just have the white people’s perspective.”
“We’re trying to reclaim our own history,” says Santiago, whose mother was taken from Montana’s Flathead Reservation at age 10 to be treated at the hospital.
- There are many missing pieces to the story of what went on there, but none of them is bigger than what happened to the Alaskans.
“Everyone we talked about said ‘the Alaskans, the Alaskans’ . . . It’s the only group that people mention over and over again, it’s the common thread through all the interviews,” Santiago said. “I really wonder about the Alaskans, since there were so many of them, what their stories are.”
But so far, Santiago has yet to find a single Alaska Native to interview.
“It’s the last state – the missing link,” she said.
The tribe wants to compile an oral record and maybe in time build a museum.
The Puyallup Tribe would like to hear from anyone who has a story about Cushman Indian School or Cushman Indian Hospital, or St. George’s Indian Boarding School in the Fife/Milton area from the 1880s to 1930s.
To contact the Puyallup Tribe of Indians call Amber Santiago at 253-573-7965 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see a list of names of Alaskan Natives who died at Cushman Indian Hospital between 1929 and 1941, read on.