Hundreds of children at Native American boarding schools have died, according to a U.S. government investigation
According to an investigative report released by the U.S. Department of the Interior on Wednesday, about 500 students died while attending federal boarding schools aimed at assimilating indigenous children. The study found that between 1819 and 1969, several generations of Native American children were separated from their parents and placed in boarding schools, where they were deprived of their Indigenous names and allowed to speak their local language or practice traditional religious practices. Was banned. The goal was to destroy the indigenous culture.
The curriculum of the boarding school was mainly military training and learning the profession of the old pre-industrial era. Wearing tight uniforms, having their hair cut short, many of those children were subjected to emotional, physical and even sexual abuse at the hands of their alleged caregivers.
According to the report, solitary confinement, flogging, malnutrition and hard physical labor were the norm. As a result, investigators claim that hundreds of children died while attending these schools. The actual number of deaths, which will be discovered after further investigation, is expected to be in the thousands.
Dev Holland, the first Native American to serve as Secretary of the Interior, argued that the US government should do everything possible to compensate Indigenous peoples for their losses.
“The consequences of the federal Indian boarding school policy – hitting a generation of children under the age of four, including intergenerational trauma caused by family separation and cultural exclusion – are heartbreaking and undeniable.” He said.
“We see evidence of the discrimination that communities face in their efforts to forcibly assimilate indigenous peoples. Surviving the federal Indian boarding school policy and talking to the offspring is not my priority, but tackling the long-term legacy of these policies so that indigenous peoples can continue to grow and heal. “
The document released on Wednesday is only the first volume. Further efforts to investigate alleged crimes against Native American children will be led by Assistant Secretary of State for Indian Affairs Brian Newland.
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