The Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative will serve as an investigation about the loss of human life and the lasting consequences of residential Indian boarding schools. The primary goal will be to identify boarding school facilities and sites; the location of known and possible student burial sites located at or near school facilities; and the identities and Tribal affiliations of children interred at such locations. The recent discovery of 215 unmarked graves by Canada’s Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc First Nation at the Kamloops Indian Residential School prompted the Department to undertake this new initiative with the goal of shedding light on these past traumas. The work will proceed in several phases and include the identification and collection of records and information related to the Department of Interior’s own oversight and implementation of the Indian boarding school program; formal consultations with Tribal Nations, Alaska Native corporations, and Native Hawaiian organizations to clarify the processes and procedures for protecting identified burial sites and associated information; and the submission of a final written report on the investigation to the Secretary by April 1, 2022. The Interior Department continues to operate residential boarding schools through the Bureau of Indian Education. In sharp contrast to the policies of the past, these schools aim to provide a quality education to students from across Indian Country and to empower Indigenous youth to better themselves and their communities as they seek to practice their spirituality, learn their language, and carry their culture forward.
Secretary Deb Haaland is addressing the National Congress of American Indians for the first time since taking over the Department of the Interior. Tune in this afternoon! @SecDebHaaland @NCAI1944 @Interior #DebHaaland #NCAIMY2021 #BoardingSchools https://t.co/M3qsR3NYQT— indianz.com (@indianz) June 22, 2021
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