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        利用老地圖和雷達科技,尋找原住民兒童的墓地

        利用老地圖和雷達科技,尋找原住民兒童的墓地

        Scott McFettridge, 美聯社 2022-11-28
        百年前的美洲原住民學校隱藏了一段黑暗的歷史。

        在美國內布拉斯加州中部,有80多名美洲土著兒童的遺體被埋葬在原熱那亞印第安工業學校(Genoa Indian Industrial School)的地下。

        這座學校位于熱那亞的一個小型社區,占地超過640英畝(約2.59平方千米)。該學校在1931年關閉,這個曾經熱鬧的校園留給人們的記憶隨著時間消散,數十年后,這些學生的墓地位置已經變成了謎。

        得益于研究人員的努力,這個謎題可能很快得以解決。研究團隊利用一個多世紀前的文件和地圖,使用經過專門訓練的嗅探犬,并利用透地雷達對地面進行探測,以查找這些墓地。

        內布拉斯加州印第安事務委員會(Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs)的執行主任朱迪·蓋亞什基博斯說:“我認為,這些兒童沒有受到尊重。他們都是被遺棄的孩子,無人過問?!彼哪赣H在20世紀20年代末期曾經就讀于這所學校?!八麄儽浑[藏、埋葬在地下,是時候驅散黑暗了。如果找不到他們的遺體,我們就無法告慰這些孩子們?!?/p>

        在這個墓地搜索項目的同時,美國聯邦政府正在對全國400多所美洲原住民寄宿學校系統進行全面檢查。這些學校和其他私人資助的機構旨在強制將兒童與他們的家人分離,切斷他們的民族傳承,令土著人融入白人文化。

        美國內政部(U.S. Interior Department)在去年春天發布了一份報告,詳細介紹了寄宿學校項目,并提到有500多人死亡。內政部的部長德布·哈蘭德是新墨西哥州拉古納普韋布洛部落(Laguna Pueblo)的成員,也是第一位美洲原住民內政部部長(Native American Cabinet secretary)。預計在第二份內政部報告中,這個數字會大幅增加。該報告探索了寄宿學校的兒童死亡情況,并分析了強制將兒童遷入寄宿學校對原住民社區的傷害。

        聯邦調查并不是熱那亞項目的原因,但增加了開展這項工作的緊迫性。

        如果最終找到熱那亞的墓地,就將由美洲原住民部落的代表決定是否紀念逝者,或者考慮挖掘遺體,但對于多年來一直在努力了解內布拉斯加學校的人們來說,找到這些墓地是一項成就。

        熱那亞印第安工業學校創建于1884年,在最高峰期曾經有近600名學生。在該學校存在的數十年間,超過4,300名兒童曾經在這里生活,使其成為美國規模最大的美洲原住民學校之一。學生在學校接受基本學術教育,大量時間用來學習實踐技能,例如男生學習制作馬韁繩,女生學習縫紉,這些技能在工業化轉型期間對美國的價值很有限。

        蓋亞什基博斯表示,孩子們每天都精疲力盡,要早上4點起床做雜務,隨后學習幾個小時,剩余時間都要在廚房、作坊或者田地里勞作。學校紀律嚴苛,違反規定的孩子們會遭到毆打。

        蓋亞什基博斯稱:“我們知道,孩子們絕對生活在恐懼當中。他們得不到母親或者祖母的擁抱。沒有歌聲。一切對他們來說都是如此陌生?!?/p>

        來自40多個部落的兒童被送到這個學校,有些兒童甚至來自遙遠的愛達荷州和緬因州。孩子們被禁止說民族語言,頭發被剪掉,并且被要求穿制服。長發對許多美洲原住民具有重要的文化意義,因此剪頭發是一種創傷性經歷。

        俄克拉何馬大學(University of Oklahoma)專注于美洲原住民研究的副教授法里納·金指出,這所學校將孩子們從數百英里甚至數千英里之外的家中帶到這里“強行監禁”,一方面是毀滅美洲原住民文化,另一方面是幫助竊取原住民的土地。

        金是納瓦霍族保留地(Navajo Nation)的成員,她的父親曾經就讀于寄宿學校。她表示:“顯而易見,寄宿學校的目的是切斷孩子與他們的族人、家鄉和文化的聯系。他們希望盡可能疏遠孩子們與族人的關系?!?/p>

        在熱那亞,這意味著要乘坐一列火車來到校園。學校位于奧馬哈西部約90英里(約145千米)處。

        學校關閉之后,大多數大型建筑被拆除,土地被出售用于其他用途。一棟兩層樓的磚墻結構工坊被改造成博物館,還有一座高聳的煙囪被保留了下來,但體育館、多層教學樓和宿舍已經消失,很難想象這個小社區曾經有一座巨大的校園。

        公墓也幾乎被人們遺忘,幸虧30年來一直有人在查找文件和社區周邊的土地,尋找埋葬地點。六年前,熱那亞印第安學校數字協調項目(Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project)推動了這項工作的開展。該項目的顧問有部落成員,他們的祖輩曾經就讀于這所學校,還有來自內布拉斯加大學林肯分校(University of Nebraska-Lincoln)的人員。

        研究人員根據剪報、主管的記錄、一名描述公墓的學生信件和其他文件,確定至少有86名學生死于這所學校。目前尚不確定是否因為封閉的生活環境造成了死亡,但記錄顯示,學生最常見的死因是肺結核、傷寒和麻疹等疾病。還有至少一例意外中槍造成的死亡,以及因為頸部受傷而造成的死亡。

        研究人員確定了49位死亡兒童的身份,但仍然無法確定37名學生的姓名。有許多孩子的遺體據信被送還給家人。

        雖然研究人員可以說明死因,但他們找不到孩子們遺體的埋葬地。

        內布拉斯加州的考古學家戴維·威廉姆斯表示,2021年加拿大宣布在寄宿學校發現了原住民兒童墓群后,熱那亞越來越有意引入更多的專業人員。

        威廉姆斯指出:“我們從當地居民那里獲悉附近有墳墓,知道有熱那亞學校公墓,但隨著時間推移,公墓的準確地點已經不得而知。我們聽說公墓位于多個不同位置,但到目前為止均未成功?!?/p>

        當地居民、以及甚至曾經就讀于該學校的學生提供了各種說法,但最終還是通過研究地圖和航拍照片鎖定了多個選項。最初使用透地雷達尋找遺體的努力并不成功。去年夏季,一位來自艾奧瓦州的男子自愿帶著經過訓練的嗅探犬來到現場。這些嗅探犬能夠嗅探出遺體腐敗產生的輕微氣味。

        兩條嗅探犬分別示意在鐵軌之間的一塊狹窄土地上、一塊玉米地和寄宿學校關閉后不久挖掘的一條運河中發現了遺體。10月末和11月初,美國國家公園管理局(National Park Service)下屬的團隊曾經兩次前往當地,利用各種透地雷達探測地下的情況。

        對于內布拉斯加州龐卡部落(Ponca Tribe)的成員蓋亞什基博斯而言,回想起寄宿學校的歷史和搜尋公墓地點的過程,令她感到非常悲傷。但她表示,找到公墓是告慰死去的孩子們和承認他們不得不承受的悲慘遭遇的關鍵一步。

        她說:“為了治愈傷痛,我們需要找到答案,結束痛苦的過去。我們需要知道,這些孩子們到底被埋葬在什么地方?”(財富中文網)

        譯者:劉進龍

        審校:汪皓

        在美國內布拉斯加州中部,有80多名美洲土著兒童的遺體被埋葬在原熱那亞印第安工業學校(Genoa Indian Industrial School)的地下。

        這座學校位于熱那亞的一個小型社區,占地超過640英畝(約2.59平方千米)。該學校在1931年關閉,這個曾經熱鬧的校園留給人們的記憶隨著時間消散,數十年后,這些學生的墓地位置已經變成了謎。

        得益于研究人員的努力,這個謎題可能很快得以解決。研究團隊利用一個多世紀前的文件和地圖,使用經過專門訓練的嗅探犬,并利用透地雷達對地面進行探測,以查找這些墓地。

        內布拉斯加州印第安事務委員會(Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs)的執行主任朱迪·蓋亞什基博斯說:“我認為,這些兒童沒有受到尊重。他們都是被遺棄的孩子,無人過問?!彼哪赣H在20世紀20年代末期曾經就讀于這所學校?!八麄儽浑[藏、埋葬在地下,是時候驅散黑暗了。如果找不到他們的遺體,我們就無法告慰這些孩子們?!?/p>

        在這個墓地搜索項目的同時,美國聯邦政府正在對全國400多所美洲原住民寄宿學校系統進行全面檢查。這些學校和其他私人資助的機構旨在強制將兒童與他們的家人分離,切斷他們的民族傳承,令土著人融入白人文化。

        美國內政部(U.S. Interior Department)在去年春天發布了一份報告,詳細介紹了寄宿學校項目,并提到有500多人死亡。內政部的部長德布·哈蘭德是新墨西哥州拉古納普韋布洛部落(Laguna Pueblo)的成員,也是第一位美洲原住民內政部部長(Native American Cabinet secretary)。預計在第二份內政部報告中,這個數字會大幅增加。該報告探索了寄宿學校的兒童死亡情況,并分析了強制將兒童遷入寄宿學校對原住民社區的傷害。

        聯邦調查并不是熱那亞項目的原因,但增加了開展這項工作的緊迫性。

        如果最終找到熱那亞的墓地,就將由美洲原住民部落的代表決定是否紀念逝者,或者考慮挖掘遺體,但對于多年來一直在努力了解內布拉斯加學校的人們來說,找到這些墓地是一項成就。

        熱那亞印第安工業學校創建于1884年,在最高峰期曾經有近600名學生。在該學校存在的數十年間,超過4,300名兒童曾經在這里生活,使其成為美國規模最大的美洲原住民學校之一。學生在學校接受基本學術教育,大量時間用來學習實踐技能,例如男生學習制作馬韁繩,女生學習縫紉,這些技能在工業化轉型期間對美國的價值很有限。

        蓋亞什基博斯表示,孩子們每天都精疲力盡,要早上4點起床做雜務,隨后學習幾個小時,剩余時間都要在廚房、作坊或者田地里勞作。學校紀律嚴苛,違反規定的孩子們會遭到毆打。

        蓋亞什基博斯稱:“我們知道,孩子們絕對生活在恐懼當中。他們得不到母親或者祖母的擁抱。沒有歌聲。一切對他們來說都是如此陌生?!?/p>

        來自40多個部落的兒童被送到這個學校,有些兒童甚至來自遙遠的愛達荷州和緬因州。孩子們被禁止說民族語言,頭發被剪掉,并且被要求穿制服。長發對許多美洲原住民具有重要的文化意義,因此剪頭發是一種創傷性經歷。

        俄克拉何馬大學(University of Oklahoma)專注于美洲原住民研究的副教授法里納·金指出,這所學校將孩子們從數百英里甚至數千英里之外的家中帶到這里“強行監禁”,一方面是毀滅美洲原住民文化,另一方面是幫助竊取原住民的土地。

        金是納瓦霍族保留地(Navajo Nation)的成員,她的父親曾經就讀于寄宿學校。她表示:“顯而易見,寄宿學校的目的是切斷孩子與他們的族人、家鄉和文化的聯系。他們希望盡可能疏遠孩子們與族人的關系?!?/p>

        在熱那亞,這意味著要乘坐一列火車來到校園。學校位于奧馬哈西部約90英里(約145千米)處。

        學校關閉之后,大多數大型建筑被拆除,土地被出售用于其他用途。一棟兩層樓的磚墻結構工坊被改造成博物館,還有一座高聳的煙囪被保留了下來,但體育館、多層教學樓和宿舍已經消失,很難想象這個小社區曾經有一座巨大的校園。

        公墓也幾乎被人們遺忘,幸虧30年來一直有人在查找文件和社區周邊的土地,尋找埋葬地點。六年前,熱那亞印第安學校數字協調項目(Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project)推動了這項工作的開展。該項目的顧問有部落成員,他們的祖輩曾經就讀于這所學校,還有來自內布拉斯加大學林肯分校(University of Nebraska-Lincoln)的人員。

        研究人員根據剪報、主管的記錄、一名描述公墓的學生信件和其他文件,確定至少有86名學生死于這所學校。目前尚不確定是否因為封閉的生活環境造成了死亡,但記錄顯示,學生最常見的死因是肺結核、傷寒和麻疹等疾病。還有至少一例意外中槍造成的死亡,以及因為頸部受傷而造成的死亡。

        研究人員確定了49位死亡兒童的身份,但仍然無法確定37名學生的姓名。有許多孩子的遺體據信被送還給家人。

        雖然研究人員可以說明死因,但他們找不到孩子們遺體的埋葬地。

        內布拉斯加州的考古學家戴維·威廉姆斯表示,2021年加拿大宣布在寄宿學校發現了原住民兒童墓群后,熱那亞越來越有意引入更多的專業人員。

        威廉姆斯指出:“我們從當地居民那里獲悉附近有墳墓,知道有熱那亞學校公墓,但隨著時間推移,公墓的準確地點已經不得而知。我們聽說公墓位于多個不同位置,但到目前為止均未成功?!?/p>

        當地居民、以及甚至曾經就讀于該學校的學生提供了各種說法,但最終還是通過研究地圖和航拍照片鎖定了多個選項。最初使用透地雷達尋找遺體的努力并不成功。去年夏季,一位來自艾奧瓦州的男子自愿帶著經過訓練的嗅探犬來到現場。這些嗅探犬能夠嗅探出遺體腐敗產生的輕微氣味。

        兩條嗅探犬分別示意在鐵軌之間的一塊狹窄土地上、一塊玉米地和寄宿學校關閉后不久挖掘的一條運河中發現了遺體。10月末和11月初,美國國家公園管理局(National Park Service)下屬的團隊曾經兩次前往當地,利用各種透地雷達探測地下的情況。

        對于內布拉斯加州龐卡部落(Ponca Tribe)的成員蓋亞什基博斯而言,回想起寄宿學校的歷史和搜尋公墓地點的過程,令她感到非常悲傷。但她表示,找到公墓是告慰死去的孩子們和承認他們不得不承受的悲慘遭遇的關鍵一步。

        她說:“為了治愈傷痛,我們需要找到答案,結束痛苦的過去。我們需要知道,這些孩子們到底被埋葬在什么地方?”(財富中文網)

        譯者:劉進龍

        審校:汪皓

        The bodies of more than 80 Native American children are buried at the former Genoa Indian Industrial School in central Nebraska.

        But for decades, the location of the student cemetery has been a mystery, lost over time after the school closed in 1931 and memories faded of the once-busy campus that sprawled over 640 acres in the tiny community of Genoa.

        That mystery may soon be solved thanks to efforts by researchers who pored over century-old documents and maps, examined land with specially trained dogs and made use of ground-penetrating radar in search of the lost graves.

        “These children, in my opinion, were disrespected, and they were throwaway children that no one talked about,” said Judi gaiashkibos, the executive director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs whose mother attended the school in the late 1920s. “They were hidden, buried under the ground, and it’s time to take the darkness away. Until we do that, we have not honored those children.”

        The search for the graves comes as the federal government is in the midst of a first-ever comprehensive examination of the national system of more than 400 Native American boarding schools. The schools and additional privately funded institutions were part of an attempt to integrate Indigenous people into the white culture by separating children forcibly or by coercion from their families and cutting them off from their heritage.

        The U.S. Interior Department, led by Secretary Deb Haaland, a member of Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico and the first Native American Cabinet secretary, released a report last spring that detailed the boarding school program and noted more than 500 deaths. That number is expected to increase significantly in a second Interior Department report, which will explore boarding school deaths and how the forced removal of children to the schools damaged Indigenous communities.

        The federal investigation didn’t prompt the work in Genoa but it has added new urgency to the effort.

        If the Genoa graves are found, decisions about whether to commemorate them or consider disinterring the remains will be left to representatives of Native American tribes, but simply finding the cemetery will be an accomplishment for individuals who for years have sought to gain a greater understanding of the Nebraska school.

        The Genoa Indian Industrial School opened in 1884 and at its height was home to nearly 600 students. In the decades it was open, more than 4,300 children lived there, making it one of the largest Native American schools in the country. The students were given a basic academic education and spent much of their time learning hands-on skills such as horse bridle-making for boys and sewing for girls that had limited value for a country in the midst of an industrial transformation.

        The children typically spent long, exhausting days, rising as early as 4 a.m. for chores, followed by several hours of school before working the rest of the day in kitchens, workshops or out in the fields, said gaiashkibos. Discipline could be harsh, with even young children facing beatings for breaking rules.

        “Absolutely, we know the children were living in fear,” gaiashkibos said. “There were no hugs from mom or grandma. There were no songs sung. Everything was foreign to them.”

        Children from over 40 tribes were brought from as far away as Idaho and Maine to the school. The were forbidden from speaking their Native languages, their hair was cut — a traumatic experience given the cultural significance for many Native Americans of long hair — and they were required to wear uniforms.

        This “forced incarceration” of children at a school hundreds an even thousands of miles away from their homes had a two-fold goal of crushing Native American cultures and aiding in the stealing of Native land, said Farina King, an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma who focuses on Native American studies.

        “More than anything there was a clear agenda to cut the ties between their people, their homeland, their culture,” said King, a member of the Navajo Nation whose father attended one of the boarding schools. “They wanted to get them away as far as they could.”

        At Genoa, that typically meant taking a train that would stop at the school grounds, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) west of Omaha.

        After the school closed, most of the larger buildings were demolished and the land sold for other uses. A two-story brick workshop that has been turned into a museum remains, as does a smokestack that towers over the community, but the gymnasium, multi-story classroom buildings and dormitories are long gone and it’s hard to imagine a large school once existed in the small community.

        The cemetery would have been forgotten too, if not for residents who for 30 years had been searching documents and the land around their community for the burial site. Their effort was given a boost about six years ago by the Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project, which included advisers from some of the tribes whose ancestors attended the school and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

        Based off newspaper clippings, superintendent’s records, one student’s letter that described a cemetery and other documents, they determined at least 86 students died at the school. It’s unclear whether close living conditions contributed to the deaths, but records indicate students most commonly died of diseases such as tuberculosis, typhoid and measles. There also was at least one death by accidental shooting and another due to a neck injury.

        Researchers identified 49 of the children who died but have not been able to find names for 37 students. It’s believed the bodies of a few children were returned to their families.

        But while the researchers accounted for the deaths, they couldn’t find where the children were buried.

        Interest in bringing more professionals to help in Genoa grew after Canada announced in 2021 the discovery of mass graves of Indigenous children at residential schools, said Dave Williams, Nebraska’s state archeologist.

        “We’ve heard from residents knowing there were burials nearby, knowing this was the Genoa school cemetery, but that precise location has been lost to time,” Williams said. “We’ve heard it’s in a few different locations but so far that hasn’t panned out.”

        There were plenty of theories from residents and even former students, but it took study of maps and aerial photos to narrow down a few options. An initial effort to find remains using ground-penetrating radar wasn’t successful, but last summer an Iowa man volunteered to come to the site with dogs that are trained to detect the faint odor of decaying remains.

        Two dogs separately signaled they smelled remains on a narrow piece of land sandwiched between railroad tracks, a cornfield and a canal that was dug soon after the boarding school closed. In late October and early November, a team affiliated with the National Park Service made two trips to the site and used different kinds of ground-penetrating radar in hopes of detecting what was beneath the soil.

        To gaiashkibos, a member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, thinking of the boarding school and searching for the cemetery brings an overwhelming sense of sadness. But she said finding the cemetery is an essential step in honoring the children and recognizing what they had to endure.

        “To heal, we have to have answers and bring closure,” she said. “We need to know, where are those children?”

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