Two Native American women, one a journalist and the other an activist, launch a deeply personal investigation into events around a former boarding school on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation. The seemingly progressive school faculty is looking to address their dark history by organizing a science-based search for possible mass graves on their campus. It seems well intentioned and even noble. But further conversations with boarding school abuse survivors, that seem to populate every single family in the community, cause our investigators to question if they have been meeting with the enemy.


Amidst an unprecedented federal investigation into hundreds of Native Boarding Schools and the 100,000+ children these institutions forcibly removed, one school has become the epicenter of controversy in America’s attempt to reckon with its dark history: Red Cloud Indian School. While today some see the school as a positive presence in the Pine Ridge Reservation, home to the Oglala Lakota tribe, others cite it as a perpetrator of generational trauma. While the US government is starting to admit its culpability in a church-facilitated campaign of genocide, the quest for justice is exposing tension throughout the Native community. In this new podcast from IllumiNative, series hosts Crystal Echo Hawk (Pawnee) and Lashay Wesley (Choctaw) hit the ground in Pine Ridge, South Dakota to chronicle the actively-developing situation for themselves, covering every twist and turn in this true crime story about the compounding intergenerational pain of Native American boarding schools and whether it’s possible for a community, Native peoples, and the United States to achieve truth, healing, and reconciliation.