Committed  


Committed
Critical Indigeneities | April 1, 2021 | 256 pages
ISBN: 9781469661629

"In 1898, Congress passed a bill creating the only 'institution for insane Indians' in the country. The Canton Indian Insane Asylum in South Dakota (sometimes called the Hiawatha Insane Asylum) opened for the reception of patients in 1903. Not long after it opened, a 1927 investigation conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs determined that many of the patients were not mentally ill in any clinical sense. Many Native Americans had been institutionalized for alcoholism, opposing government or business interests, or being culturally misunderstood. Nevertheless, more than 350 patients from 53 Native nations were detained at Canton, many of them relatives across generations. Conditions at the institution were dire; at least 121 of these patients died while there. In 1934, just 31 years after it accepted its first patient, Canton was closed and its story largely forgotten. In Committed, Susan Burch resurrects this history through the stories of individuals detained at Canton Asylum, told to her by their relatives, the asylum's staff, and the town's residents during this time"--