Crystal and Lashay meet with progressive community leaders who are combating the Catholic church with the strongest weapon they have: their culture. They are locked in a battle of wills with Red Cloud school and what they see as systemic leeching off-of their people. For a better understanding of the fissure between Catholic and Lakota, the investigators travel with one of the leaders to his dining room table, where three generations of abuse survivors, male and female, describe their ordeals. The investigators are left wondering if they could even trust the findings that the school will hand down in the grave search.


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.