The stories of abuse are well known. Some children died in the schools. Many others were emotionally scarred for life. There's a line in the film that says, "There are two ways to conquer a nation: you kill the people, or you take away everything that defines who and what they are."
Indian people will tell you the boarding school experience is still with them, years after the schools closed. It might be a factor in rampant suicide rates on many reservations, according to Producer Christine Walker.