Indianz.Com Video: Secretary Deb Haaland: Federal Indian Boarding School Truth Initiative
NCAI President Sharp Addresses Announcement of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Source: National Congress of American Indians

The following is the text of a June 22, 2021, press release from the National Congress of American Indians.

On Tuesday, Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland formally announced the development of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative during her remarks at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) 2021 Mid Year Conference.

The announcement comes one month after the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in Canada, which prompted NCAI to reaffirm the need for a formal Commission to study the impacts of the federal Indian Boarding School Policy in the United States.

Fawn Sharp
Fawn Sharp serves as president of the National Congress of American Indians. Photo by Kevin Abourezk

NCAI President Fawn Sharp issued the following statement:

“The National Congress of American Indians commends the Department of Interior for taking the essential first step of providing an official account of the atrocities that Native children experienced during the boarding school era. By documenting who, what, when and where these egregious abuses occurred, Native families may not be able to fully heal, but they may be able to begin to reconcile with the past.”

“Many mothers, fathers, siblings, and children of boarding school victims and survivors have walked on without ever knowing the full extent of what happened to their loved ones. But knowledge is power. By learning the truth, we can finally begin reconciling the past and healing for the future.”


Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit ncai.org.

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