June 18, 2024

Murkowski Commends Catholic Church for Formal Apology Regarding Involvement with Indian Boarding Schools

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, released the following statement after the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a formal apology for the church’s role in inflicting a legacy of abuse and trauma on Indigenous children and their families through the Catholic Church’s participation in Indian boarding schools.

“I commend the Catholic Church for issuing a formal apology to all those affected by the historical involvement of Church-run Indian Boarding Schools. The trauma inflicted during the Indian Boarding School era left deep scars on Indigenous communities, including in Alaska, that are still seen today. Those impacted by these horrific actions deserve to find healing and the acknowledgement of the wounds inflicted from these policies is but one step toward doing just that,” said Senator Murkowski. “Through a nearly unanimous vote, the Catholic Church’s decision to issue this apology demonstrates a commitment to truth and accountability. The choice to take responsibility for past errors, and stating a commitment to take concrete actions to address them, paves the way for long overdue healing for America’s first peoples.”

By a 181-2 vote, the bishops approved a document, entitled “Keeping Christ’s Sacred Promise: A Pastoral Framework for Indigenous Ministry.”