Cedric Sunray: Haskell University must live up to commitment

Cedric Sunray expresses hope that Haskell Indian Nations University will live up to its commitment to educate all Indian students, regardless of federal recognition status:
It’s been a long… long time a coming… but I know….change going come. On June 3, I walked into the Department of the Interior along with one of the chiefs from the Virginia tribes. We were invited by Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn to discuss the history of historic “non-federally” recognized tribes who attended the federal and closely related mission Indian boarding schools. There we met with BIE and Assistant Secretary Chief’s of Staff and Counselors who gave us a firm timeline not to exceed a year to research this issue fully.

Over the last 21 years contributors to the Haskell Endangered Legacy Project (H.E.L.P.) have compiled thousands of pages of documents including yearbook photos, newspaper articles, grade reports, athletic participation awards, and other relevant pieces of this historical narrative. Visitations to these mostly small, sometimes reservation based communities, have yielded countless interviews, times of fellowship, and video recordings. Project findings have been presented at various universities and state and national Indian organizational conferences, such as the TEDNA panel at the National Indian Education Association annual conference. We have been in direct contact with various members of both the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education for many years only to be purposefully ignored or brushed off with contrite responses. It seems the 800lb. gorilla was simply too indicative of the failed federal Indian policy experiment to speak about. Now this has changed and for this we find ourselves in a new, or renewed, relationship going forward.

Get the Story:
Cedric Sunray: Haskell University Must Start Meeting Its Moral Obligations (Indian Country Today 8/11)

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