Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Secretary Deb Haaland Releases Investigative Report on Indian Boarding Schools TRAUMA


Department of the Interior Releases Investigative Report, Outlines Next Steps in Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative

WASHINGTON — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland today released Volume 1 of the investigative report called for as part of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, a comprehensive effort to address the troubled legacy of federal Indian boarding school policies. This report lays the groundwork for the continued work of the Interior Department to address the intergenerational trauma created by historical federal Indian boarding school policies.

This investigative report is a significant step by the federal government to comprehensively address the facts and consequences of its federal Indian boarding school policies—implemented for more than a century and a half—resulting in the twin goals of cultural assimilation and territorial dispossession of Indigenous peoples through the forced removal and relocation of their children. It reflects an extensive and first-ever inventory of federally operated schools, including profiles and maps.

The investigation found that from 1819 to 1969, the federal Indian boarding school system consisted of 408 federal schools across 37 states or then territories, including 21 schools in Alaska and 7 schools in Hawaii. The investigation identified marked or unmarked burial sites at approximately 53 different schools across the school system. As the investigation continues, the Department expects the number of identified burial sites to increase.

“The consequences of federal Indian boarding school policies—including the intergenerational trauma caused by the family separation and cultural eradication inflicted upon generations of children as young as 4 years old—are heartbreaking and undeniable,” said Secretary Haaland. (OP:  NOW do Disenrollment) “We continue to see the evidence of this attempt to forcibly assimilate Indigenous people in the disparities that communities face. It is my priority to not only give voice to the survivors and descendants of federal Indian boarding school policies, but also to address the lasting legacies of these policies so Indigenous peoples can continue to grow and heal.”

“This report presents the opportunity for us to reorient federal policies to support the revitalization of Tribal languages and cultural practices to counteract nearly two centuries of federal policies aimed at their destruction,” said Assistant Secretary Newland. “Together, we can help begin a healing process for Indian Country, the Native Hawaiian Community and across the United States, from the Alaskan tundra to the Florida everglades, and everywhere in between.”

As part of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative and in response to recommendations from the report, Secretary Haaland today announced the launch of “The Road to Healing.” This year-long tour will include travel across the country to allow American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian survivors of the federal Indian boarding school system the opportunity to share their stories, help connect communities with trauma-informed support, and facilitate collection of a permanent oral history.

“The Department’s work thus far shows that an all-of-government approach is necessary to strengthen and rebuild the bonds within Native communities that federal Indian boarding school policies set out to break,” added Secretary Haaland. “With the President’s direction, we have begun working through the White House Council of Native American Affairs on the path ahead to preserve Tribal languages, invest in survivor-focused services, and honor our obligations to Indigenous communities. We also appreciate the ongoing engagement and support for this effort from Members of Congress and look forward to continued collaboration.”

Volume 1 of the report highlights some of the conditions children endured at these schools and raises important questions about the short- and long-term consequences of the federal Indian boarding school system on American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.

The investigation found that the federal Indian boarding school system deployed systematic militarized and identity-alteration methodologies in an attempt to assimilate American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children through education, including but not limited to renaming Indian children from Indian to English names; cutting the hair of Indian children; discouraging or preventing the use of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian languages, religions and cultural practices; and organizing Indian and Native Hawaiian children into units to perform military drills.

Despite assertions to the contrary, the investigation found that the school system largely focused on manual labor and vocational skills that left American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian graduates with employment options often irrelevant to the industrial U.S. economy, further disrupting Tribal economies.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting closures of federal facilities reflect the need for further investigation. The report identifies next steps that will be taken in a second volume, aided by a new $7 million investment from Congress through fiscal year 2022. Recommendations by Assistant Secretary Newland include producing a list of marked and unmarked burial sites at federal Indian boarding schools and an approximation of the total amount of federal funding used to support the federal Indian boarding school system, and further investigation to determine the legacy impacts of the school system on American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities today.


Reinstatement_Restitution said...

So stuff that happened way back in the past is more important to address by the issues that face us now? Where does this thinking come from? Sorry, but address disenrollment and its immediate impact and you will be working to improve the conditions of Indian Country. Can't do much to fix stuff for people who have passed.

Anonymous said...

That is very true R&R, by not addressing the current problems will only give the corrupt leaders to do more harm to real native Americans struggling to survive because they were kicked
out because of hate for certain members being truthful and trying to do the right thing.

WeRone said...

Thank you

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

Hey I know first hand what the Indian schools did to families. My grandfather Paul Magee was removed from his family and placed in the Sherman Institute when he was 13 years old. They forced Indians to cut their hair, forbid speaking in their native languages, and prohibited Indian cultural practices and traditions. Nothing good came out of it. However the harm was done in the past, and apologizing for past misdeeds is nice, but does nothing to address current issues. If we learn anything from past misdeeds it should be not to repeat them.

So what is the difference from taking kids from their families, destroying the relationship to their culture and heritage and trying to take the native out of them and disenrollment? The goal is the same. Strip away their Indian citizenship, divide their families, take away the connection to their heritage and legacy, and make them non-Indians.

I guess the main difference is that it is the tribal leaders that are doing it now and not the BIA, but the BIA sits back and says they cannot interfere, no matter what harm is inflicted. A hundred years from now the Secretary of the Interior will come forward and apologize to disenrollees and say the federal government has a responsibility to Indians that rises from the trust duty. The trust duty extends beyond the concept of tribal sovereignty and it is the welfare of Indians that is the most important concern. We are deeply sorry for the damage inflicted by disenrollment and will work to prevent such harm happening again!

By then there will be no real Indians anymore, just the descendants of the disenrolling tribal leaders who will complain about their suffering because there are no more Indians for them to hurt.

Enough is Enough said...

Americas holocaust still going on today. Damn near Germany the only difference is America will be successful in the extinction of a whole race of people. Yet we still condemn China ? Can anyone tell me what religion justifies this? Pretty sure atheism is not a religion.

'aamokat said...

Reinstatement_Restitution, I have seen you post on this Blog many times so I know you are aware that O.P. has been at the forefront of many issues including those affecting us currently. If you don't like what I just commented, realize I am sure we are on the same side. Really, no one has done more on many issues than O.P.!

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

The comments are welcome! Just another take from a different perspective. The DOI can apologize and investigate Indian schools. Not sure what will come of it. However, there are some current issues that are not being addressed and I think we should try to redirect the gaze of the DOI to focus on the damage caused by current actions instead of apologizing for past actions that caused harm that can't be undone.

Anonymous said...

I thought Deb Haaland was a real Native American with a real native heart.
Why is she not focusing on the killing off of real native people be disenrolled by corrupt leaders of these Casino tribes ?
Is she for real or a sheep in wolfs clothing .
She is focused on the past Indian school corruption and killings and should be focusing on the current problems so killing off of Native people will stop before they become a
nightmare like the school's are in the past.
Does she want history to repeat its self again.
Fix the issues that you can and let History alone.