Canton Indian Insane Asylum
In 1898, Congress passed a bill creating the only 'Institution for Insane Indians' in the United States. The Canton Indian Insane Asylum (sometimes called Hiawatha Insane Asylum) opened for the reception of patients in January 1903. The first administrator was Oscar S. Gifford. Many of the inmates were not mentally ill. Native Americans risked being confined in the asylum for alcoholism, opposing government or business interests, or for being culturally misunderstood. A 1927 investigation conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs determined that a large number of patients showed no signs of mental illness. While open, more than 350 patients were detained there, in terrible conditions. At least 121 died. The asylum was closed in 1934.
Canton Indian Insane Asylum Cemetery
Land was set aside for a cemetery, but the Indian Office decided that stone markers for graves would be an unwarranted expense. Today, the cemetery, with at least 121 burials, is located north of the junction of U.S. Route 18 and the former Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific railroad tracks
- "Canton Indian Historical Society", National Park Service. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
- Hiawatha Asylum For Insane Indians | Hiawatha Diary
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- "Wild Indians", Native Perspectives, Pemina Yellow Bird