One of the central elements of my most recent book, The Girl who Sang to the Buffalo, is the Hiawatha Asylum for Insane Indians that was built at the turn of the last century in the small town of Canton, South Dakota. I wanted to bring attention to this inhumane institution and do what I could to bring it back into the historical consciousness of America.
At the same time, a group was forming in Canton to do what they could to bring attention and some measure of honor to those people who were incarcerated there during its 30 years of existence. This short video updates some of what is going on in this regard, and shows a few photos of and artifacts from the asylum.
I hope you will all watch it and pass the word about this institutions and the efforts being made to bring healing to all those involved. Canton as a community deserves great praise for acknowledging this dark past and doing what it can to make things right in the present.
I hope you will also take the time to read The Girl who Sang to the Buffalo. It will give you an inside look at the whats and whys of that sad time and that dark institution.