Michigan Public Radio on Anishinaabemowin and the Boarding Schools

Written by: Kathryn Fort

Primary Source : Turtle Talk, September 28, 2015

Here.

Deleta Gasco Smith works for the Little Traverse Bay Band. She attended Holy Childhood for three years of elementary school.

“When we were in the school we were actually completely forbidden to speak the language, and if we were caught, the punishment was swift and it was severe,” Gasco Smith says.

Gasco Smith’s father was fluent in Anishinaabemowin, but he was careful not to teach his daughter the language. Gasco Smith says her Dad went to the same boarding school and knew she would be beaten for speaking Anishinaabemowin.

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Kathryn Fort
Kathryn (Kate) E. Fort is the Staff Attorney and Adjunct Professor for the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University College of Law. She joined the Center in 2005 as the Indigenous Law Fellow. In her role with the Center, she co-teaches an experiential learning class, researches and writes on behalf of Center clients and on topics in federal Indian law and manages administrative aspects of the Center. Ms. Fort has written articles on laches and land claims and the Indian Child Welfare Act. Ms. Fort graduated magna cum laude from Michigan State University College of Law with the Certificate in Indigenous Law, and is licensed to practice law in Michigan. Prior to law school, Ms. Fort worked for Congresswoman Lois Capps' 1998 congressional campaign, the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 Presidential race, the National Association of Letter Carriers, and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. She received her B.A. in History with honors from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.