USCCB Looks to Assist Federal Investigation of Boarding Schools for Indigenous| National Catholic Register

A spokeswoman for the U.S. bishops’ conference said it is looking to help with a new federal investigation of the history of boarding schools for Native American children.  Following the recent discovery of unmarked graves outside former Canadian residential schools, the U.S. government recently promised a comprehensive report on its involvement with the boarding schools for Native Americans. U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who is Catholic, announced the investigation on June 22 at a conference for Native American leaders. “[W]e must shed light on the unspoken traumas of the past, no matter how hard it will be,” Secretary Haaland said. The investigation will focus on the loss of life at the schools, as well as the consequences and legacy of the federal policy of sending indigenous children to the schools. In a June 28 statement, a spokesperson for the U.S. bishops’ conference said the bishops will “look for ways to be of assistance” in the investigation. Spokesperson Chieko Noguchi said she hopes the information will “bring some measure of peace to the victims and a heightened awareness so that this disturbing history is never repeated.” The Indian Civilization Act of 1819 led to the creation of hundreds of boarding schools for indigenous children run by the U.S. government, the Catholic Church, or Protestant communities. Children were sometimes forcibly removed from their homes to go to the schools. Haaland, the first Native American to serve as a Cabinet Secretary, wrote in a June 11 op-ed for the Washington Post that the schools were part of “an effort to eradicate our culture and erase us as a people.”

USCCB Looks to Assist Federal Investigation of Boarding Schools for Indigenous| National Catholic Register

Leave a Reply