U.S. Government to Investigate its Indian Boarding Schools

Residential Schools

U.S. government to investigate its Indian boarding schools in wake of Kamloops discovery.

‘We must shed light on the unspoken traumas of the past, no matter how hard it will be’

The United States government has announced it will investigate its history of Indian boarding schools and work to identify children who died in the institutions.

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The Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative will seek to identify boarding school facilities and sites as well as the location of burial sites near or at the facilities, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, a former congresswoman and the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary, announced the initiative on Tuesday.

Kamloops residential school

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland speaks on Indian boarding schools

“To address the inter-generational impact of Indian boarding schools and to promote spiritual and emotional healing in our communities, we must shed light on the unspoken traumas of the past, no matter how hard it will be,” Haaland wrote on Twitter.

“For more than a century, [the Department of the Interior] was responsible for operating the Indian boarding schools across the U.S. … We are therefore uniquely positioned to assist in the effort to recover the dark history of these institutions that have haunted our families for too long.”

A statement from the department said the discovery in B.C. prompted the Department to launch its own investigation.

The chief of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation said last month a preliminary ground scan had revealed what are believed to be the remains of as many as 215 children next to the former school.


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