Stringing Rosaries: The History, the Unforgivable, and the Healing of Northern Plains American Indian Boarding School Survivors by Denise K. Lajimodiere
Featured on The Thread: 'I've never told anyone': Stories of life in Indian boarding schools
Denise Lajimodiere's interest in American Indian boarding school survivors stories evolved from recording her father and other family members speaking of their experiences. Her research helped her to gain insight, a deeper understanding of her parents, and how and why she and her siblings were parented in the way they were. That insight led her to an emotional ceremony of forgiveness, described in the last chapter of Stringing Rosaries.
The journey to record survivors stories led her through the Dakotas and Minnesota and into the personal and private space of boarding school survivors. While there, she heard stories that they had never shared before. She came to an understanding of new terms: historical and intergenerational trauma, soul wound.
Stringing Rosaries presents a brief history of the boarding school programs for Indigenous Americans, followed by sixteen interviews with boarding school survivors, and ending with the author's own healing journey with her father.