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Disability and Native North American Boarding School Narratives: Madonna Swan and Sioux Sanitorium


The article analyzes the only known book-length narrative of a Native American tuberculosis survivor, Madonna Swan. Swan’s disability memoir can be read as the lived embodiment of the decolonization movement within the Lakota Nation and across the Americas. This reading provides new insight into the overcoming narrative, as currently conceived in disability studies, insofar as Swan’s autobiography resists forced acculturation and reclaims Lakota identities within this genre.