In 1898, Congress passed a bill creating the only ‘Institution for Insane Indians’ in the United States. The Canton Indian Insane Asylum, South Dakota (sometimes called Hiawatha Insane Asylum) opened for the reception of patients in January, 1903.

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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. The asylum was closed in 1934. While open, more than 350 patients were detained there, in terrible conditions. At least 121 died.

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 (121 names) is located in the middle of a golf course in Canton. No one knows the cause of death of the incarcerated or why they were even at the asylum. The National Park Service has recently added the cemetery to the National Register of Historic Places.

This page covers the female patients interred in Canton Asylum during the year of 1924.

June 1924 Female Patients

Canton Indian Asylum, 1924 Female Patients

Number Name Tribe Reservation State
1 Agusta, Joanna Papago Sells Arizona
2 Ambrose, Vivian Colville Spokane Washington
3 Amour, Christine Menominee Keshena Wisconsin
4 Amyotte, Emma Chippewa Turtle Mountain North Dakota
5 Bite, Rosa Blackfeet Blackfeet Montana
6 Blanchard, Maggie Chippewa Hayward Wisconsin
7 Caldwell, Agnes Menominee Keshena Wisconsin
8 Canoe, Kate Winnebago Grand Rapids Wisconsin
9 Chavez, Lilliam Pueblo Laguna New Mexico
10 Chico, Marie Papago Sells Arizona
11 Dauphinais, Madeline Chippewa Turtle Mountain North Dakota
12 DeCoteau, Margaret Sioux Sisseton South Dakota
13 Drag Toes Navajo Navajo Arizona
14 Eldridge, Emily Blackfeet Blackfeet Montana
15 Ensign, Meda Shoshone Shoshone Wyoming
16 Espinoza, Frances Pueblo North Pueblo New Mexico
17 Esponiza, Juanita Pueblo North Pueblo New Mexico
18 Faribault, Elizabeth Sioux Sisseton South Dakota
19 Fast Horse, Stella Sioux Pine Ridge South Dakota
20 Fredericks, Pisquoponoke Menominee Keshena Wisconsin
21 Gondosayquay Chippewa Leech Lake Minnesota
22 Houle, Cypia Cree Turtle Mountain North Dakota
23 Hurley, Nellie Pima Pima Arizona
24 Ignation, Mary Papago Sells Arizona
25 Kalonuheskie, Edith Cherokee Cherokee North Carolina
26 Kiger, No Walk Piute Nevada Nevada
27 La Lakes, Leona Klamath Klamath Oregon
28 LaMere, Saddie Winnebago Winnebago Nebraska
29 Montriel, Adele Chippewa Turtle Mountain North Dakota
30 Moss, Amelia Caddo Kiowa Oklahoma
31 Nesba Navajo Navajo Arizona
32 Nicholson, Maggie Gros Ventres Ft. Belknap Montana
33 Ortez, Victoria M. Pueblo Albuquerque New Mexico
34 Ozowshquah Potawatomi Potawatomi Kansas
35 Porlier, Louise Menominee Keshena Wisconsin
36 Redowl, Lizzie Sioux Pine Ridge South Dakota
37 Sheayounena, Minnie Hopi Moqui Arizona
38 Smoke, Annie Piute Warm Springs Oregon
39 Spicer, Kittie Wyandotte Seneca Oklahoma
40 Sweet Grass Woman Mandan Ft. Berthold North Dakota
41 Three Stars, Sophia Sioux Pine Ridge South Dakota
42 Wahbesheshequay Chippewa Leech Lake Minnesota
43 Waite, Emily Chickasaw Union Oklahoma
44 Wash, Rose Arickara Ft. Berthold North Dakota
45 Wauketch, Mary Menominee Keshena Wisconsin
46 Wishecoby, Susan Menominee Keshena Wisconsin
47 Yazza, Zonna Navajo Navajo Arizona