US counts Indian boarding school deaths for first time, but key questions remain unanswered

The report identified more than 500 infant deaths after examining enrollment in 19 institutions, which is a small fraction of the total number of schools found. “As the investigation continues, the department expects the number of registered deaths to increase,” the statement said. The number is significantly lower than some ratings:which are tens of thousands.

“The United States does not even know how many Indian students have passed through these institutions, let alone how many have actually died in them,” said Preston S. McBride found the deaths of more than 1,000 students in the four former boarding schools he studied, and estimated that the total death toll could be as high as 40,000.

“Basically every school had a cemetery,” he said. “There are deaths or deaths because of almost every boarding school.”

Those deaths were the result of everything from illness to abuse, McBride said, based on his review of historical records, including letters from students, parents and administrators. Reaching the right number will take considerable time and research, McBride said. “I think we have a long way to go.”

An investigation by the Interior Ministry found 53 cemeteries across the country, the number of which is also expected to increase, but schools did not mention to prevent “well-documented graveyard robbery, vandalism and other disturbances at Indian burial sites.”

Halland, a native of Laguna Pueblo, the first Native American to head the department, last announced the investigation. June. It is designed to lay the groundwork for how the US Government will address its disturbing history by exploring possible graves, repatriating children’s remains, offering resources, and access to affected indigenous communities to address the ongoing impact of boarding schools.

Untitled photo of Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School in Michigan.Through the USA Today network

In the early 1800s, the US government stole Native American children from their communities, forced them to attend Indian boarding schools, deprived them of their languages, traditions, called them English, and trained them to exercise.

The report identifies 408 schools in 37 states that were established between 1801 and 1969 to receive funding or other funding from the federal government. Half of them also received support from religious institutions or organizations, “including funding, infrastructure and staff,” the report said. Many religious institutions were also paid by the government for each indigenous child they placed in a boarding school.

The report found that the US government “targeted” Indigenous children as part of an effort to assimilate them into their ethnic minorities, and that’s the story of the method, developed primarily by Thomas Jefferson. That history may be new to many Americans, it’s true Familiar: For many in the Indian country. Survivors և their families recorded countless examples of systemic abuse և generational trauma as some schools remained open until the 1990s.

Memorial in front of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, July 15, 2021.
On July 15, 2021, a memorial service was held at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. A search of the property by radar detector revealed the remains of 215 children buried near the former school. Daryl Dyke / Canadian Press AP

The report, which will be the first step, includes a proposal for further funding շարունակ further investigation. Other proposals include setting up a repository for information gathered from federal agencies, private institutions, protecting Native American graves, providing more funding for the Repatriation Act, and federal law governing the repatriation of Indigenous remnants.

While the report recognizes an era of violence against Native American children, it does not guarantee that the government will take any immediate action to address the devastation caused by its policies. The report states that the federal government has never provided a forum for survivors or their descendants to voluntarily share their experiences.

In Canada, the government recently stepped down after setting up a Truth Reconciliation Commission $ 4.7 billion to support indigenous communities affected by its home schools. The United States has no such commission or funding.

St. Boniface Indian Industrial School Cemetery in Banning, California, 2021
St. Boniface Indian Industrial School Cemetery in Banning, California, 2021Through Zeng Hui / Xinhua Getty Images

There were two possible ways to change that before Congress. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Ph.D., MP Sharis DGeds, Ho-chanc D-Qan Bills will set up a truth-reconciliation commission on Indian boarding schools, offering a framework for how the government responds to ethnic is affected.

The House Committee on Natural Resources will hold a hearing on the legislation Thursdayand survivors of boarding school can submit testimony about their experiences until May 26.

Even if the events pass, they will still be open legal gaps which limit the government’s ability to investigate the history of boarding schools, including an exception that allows some religious organizations to opt out. The Native American Cemetery Repatriation Act applies only to federally controlled lands or federally funded institutions. The government has little control over records kept by private cemeteries or private organizations, such as the Catholic Church, which operated several Indian boarding schools.

The report does not address this issue, but recommends that in the second phase of the investigation, a list be made of organizations that have supported and benefited from the Indian boarding school system. And advises to consult with the tribes for the restoration of cemeteries և for joint management. However, the recommendations do not include a clear course of action.

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