Walter Littlemoon attended a federal Indian boarding school in South Dakota sixty years ago. The mission of many of these schools in 1950, was still to “kill the Indian and save the man.” The children were not allowed to be Indians – to speak their language or express their culture or native identity in any way at the risk of being severely beaten, humiliated or abused. What effects did these actions cause?
Many Native people, like Walter, lived with this unresolved trauma into adulthood, acting it out through alcoholism and domestic violence. At age 58, Walter decided to write and publish his memoirs as a way to explain his past abusive behaviors to his estranged children. But dealing with the memories of his boarding school days nearly put an end to the project.
The Thick Dark Fog tells the story of how Walter confronted the “thick dark fog” of his past so that he could heal himself and his community.