SCHATZ: SENATE MEASURES, DOI INITIATIVE FIRST STEPS IN RECKONING ON FEDERAL BOARDING SCHOOLS

Sep 30, 2021

For Immediate Release

September 30, 2021

 

Contact:

Manu Tupper or Mike Inacay (Schatz) at press@indian.senate.gov

 

SCHATZ: SENATE MEASURES, DOI INITIATIVE FIRST STEPS IN RECKONING ON FEDERAL BOARDING SCHOOLS

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, released the following statement on recent Senate measures and announcement of a Department of the Interior (DOI) initiative to reckon the consequences of our nation’s Indian boarding school policy.

 

“As a matter of official U.S. policy for well over a century, hundreds of thousands of Native children were taken from their families and communities to distant federal boarding schools where their identities, traditions, and languages were forcibly suppressed. As a nation, we have a moral responsibility to confront our past, right this shameful injustice, and provide Native communities opportunity to begin to heal,” said Chairman Schatz. “I am proud to support Senators Warren’s and Murkowski’s work on this critical issue and remain encouraged by Secretary Haaland’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative. These are important first steps in reckoning with the continuing impact of past wrongs perpetrated by our nation on its Indigenous communities.”

 

Senator Warren’s Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies in the United States Act would establish the first formal commission in United States history to investigate and document the Indian Boarding School Policies – assimilationist policies and practices inflicted on American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children by the federal government and U.S. settlers intended to terminate the cultures and languages of Indigenous peoples in the Unites States.

 

Vice Chairman Murkowski’s concurrent resolution designates today as a National Day of Remembrance for the Native American children who died while attending Indian boarding schools.

 

DOI’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative is charged with preparing a report detailing historical records relating to the loss of human life and the lasting consequences caused by residential Indian boarding schools. Secretary Haaland announced today that the agency will begin consultation sessions with Tribal governments, Alaska Native Corporations, and Native Hawaiian organizations to inform its report.

 

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