Brother Of Jerry
Date: August 23, 2021 01:17PM
An investigation is going on at the former indigenous boarding school in Panguitch, looking for the buried skeletons of children. Sounds like the school was basically a farm outside of town, where the children supplied forced labor to "pay" for their schooling. (Sounds like the welfare farm business model)
Thanks to the Canadian investigations, this is the crime du jour, and it seems a near certainty that there will be unrecorded skeletons of children found in the cemetery at the school.
It is quite a long article. The story is what you would expect, but with a lot of details.
One thing that caught my eye was that the school closed in 1909, over what were claimed to be sanitation and disease issues. I have read a lot of articles about the history of vaccines, because of, well, you know. Prior to 1900, the average lifespan in the US was in the 40-something range. About 40% of all children died before reaching adulthood. It was between 1900 and 1940 or so that many of the vaccines for childhood diseases were developed, and childhood deaths fell dramatically.
The net result of those vaccines was that my parents' generation was the first in world history in which a large majority of the children made it to adulthood.
My point being that prior to 1900, infant and child deaths were quite common. Go to any pre-1900 cemetery and read the stones. So yes, there will be children who died at the school. The question is were the deaths recorded, reported, and were the families notified and give the opportunity to reclaim the remains?
My guess is that right around the time the school closed was when public health was starting to be a recognized thing, and infant and child mortality was starting to go down in general, but was still high in the indigenous boarding schools. Rather than fix the problem, it was simpler to close the schools. this was the height of the Progressive Era, Jane Addams and all that, and the schools were already being seen as problematic.