Newly released federal report begins to document extent of Boarding School damage to Indian children

The U.S. Department of Interior this month released its first report documenting the historical and ongoing trauma the boarding school system inflicted on Indian children, their families, and their communities. It’s a first step in national efforts towards truth telling, education, and repair with Indigenous communities.

The Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report:

  • Confirms the United States created the boarding school system to force cultural assimilation and dispossession Indigenous peoples of their lands.
  • Identifies 408 boarding schools across 37 states that the U.S. government operated or supported. Roughly half of them “may have received support or involvement from a religious institution or organization.”
  • Identifies at least 53 burial sites for children who lived in boarding schools — with more discoveries expected. Approximately 19 boarding schools accounted for the deaths of more than 500 American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children. That number is expected to rise.
  • Identifies more than 1,000 other Federal and non-Federal institutions, “including Indian day schools, sanitariums, asylums, orphanages, and stand-alone dormitories that may have involved education of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people, mainly Indian children.”
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Support Fond du Lac/oppose PolyMet; Initiative for Tribal co-management of federal lands, and more

In this post:

  • Stand with Fond du Lac, oppose PolyMet
  • U.S. Interior Department proposes Tribal co-management of federal lands
  • Financial support requests for restoration of Dakota sacred site, mutual aid
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500,000+ Acres Returned to Native Control Under the Obama Administration

The Obama is taking heat to intervene in the Dakota Access Pipeline (the latest email to hit our inbox was an effort to have the President declare Standing Rock a National Monument.) While Standing Rock is an absolutely critical issue, let’s not overlook a major accomplishment of this administration: it put 542,000 acres back into Native hands (yes, still technically land held in federal trust for Native nations). The largest chunks of returned lands were in western states. To put it in some perspective, if combined, it would be a chunk of land roughly 29 miles by 29 miles, or nearly 850 square miles — an area larger than Hennepin and Ramsey counties combined. Continue reading