The Department of the Interior says 408 federal boarding schools are trying to integrate Native American children

The review noted that from 1819 to 1969 there were 408 federal schools in 37 states. The state now has the highest concentration of schools with 76 educational institutions in the state of Oklahoma, followed by 47 schools in Arizona and 43 schools in New Mexico, the report said.

Children and youth in these schools are subject to “formal militarization and identity change” by the federal government, including restrictions on the use of English names, haircuts, military or other uniforms, and the use of their native language and religion. The report said.

These rules are often enforced through “punishments, including corporal punishment, solitary confinement, flogging, arrest of food, … flogging.”[,]According to reports, slaps or handcuffs.

A preliminary investigation found that 19 boarding schools were responsible for the deaths of more than 500 Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian children, but the number of registered deaths is expected to rise.

Brian Newland, assistant secretary of state for Indian affairs, said the country had previously made no attempt to explain the goals of its boarding school policy. He said the report was an opportunity to “restructure federal policies to support the revitalization of Indigenous cultural languages ​​and practices” and to challenge policies aimed at eradicating them for nearly two centuries.

“Together we can help kickstart the healing process in India, Native Hawaiian communities, and across the United States, from the Alaskan tundra to the Florida Everglades and everywhere in between,” Newland said in a statement.

At an emotional news conference on Wednesday, Hollande said the consequences of the boarding school policy were “heartbreaking and undeniable”.

This policy has affected the lives of tens of thousands of children – their maternal grandparents forced to live in boarding schools at the age of 8 – and an unknown number of them have not returned home.

“Each of these children is a member of a lost family, part of a terrible organization that lost their lives and failed to fulfill their purpose on this earth,” Hollande said.

In addition to acknowledging the impact of the boarding school system on improving the treatment of Natives, Hollande announced that a team of Native American Alaskan and Hawaiian survivors would embark on a year-long tour of the country. To share stories and “facilitate the gathering of enduring oral traditions”.

Deborah Parker, CEO Native American Boarding School Healing AllianceHe said the release of the report was a “historic moment”.

“It confirms the story we all grew up with. The truth is our people and our elders and forefathers suffered great torments at the hands of government and religious institutions as children,” Parker said.

But Parker said there was still work to be done.

“Generations later, we don’t know how many children participated, how many children died, and/or how many children were permanently injured by these federal agencies.”

The department said the report released on Wednesday was not comprehensive and only presented preliminary results from the initiative.

The department is expected to track local boarding schools in fiscal 2022, prepare a second review to determine the location of marked or unmarked graves, identify children in those locations, and commit federal funding to schools.

Crystal Echo Hawk, founder and CEO of IllumiNative, described boarding school politics as one of the darkest in the country’s history and said she hoped the report would lead to justice.

“After counting every unmarked grave, we cannot start healing until all of our children are back home. We hope today begins the long journey to justice,” he said.

This story was updated on Wednesday with more details.

Cheryl Tenny

"Thinker. Food advocate. Incurable coffee enthusiast. Communicator. Proud student. Zombie buff. Tv fanatic. Extreme troublemaker."

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