GTB Chairman to Feds: Zero-Tolerance Immigrations Policy is “Evil”

Building of Indian School Harbor Springs

Published July 3, 2018

PESHAWBESTOWN, Mich. – Citing historical trauma associated with American Indian who were taken from their parents, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians Chairman Thurlow “Sam” McClellan sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson calling the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy “evil.”

“Members of our present Indian nation are the descendants of children who were removed from their parents, their tribe, and their culture; and forced to attend Indian boarding schools. This was a means of forced assimilation, and it destroyed the countless bands of Native American parents and their children.”

GTB Tribal Chairman Thurlow “Sam” McClellan – Native News Online photo by Levi Rickert

McClellan is chairman of at tribe that had many of its members taken from their homes and sent to the Holy Childhood Indian School in Harbor Springs, Michigan. The school was operated by the Catholic Church from 1829 until 1983.

The letter continues:

“Regardless of the arguments on the pros and cons of immigration policy, the U.S. should not be utilizing a historical discredited policy that removes and cages children of migrant parents. Just as our ancestors were taken as a negotiating tool in the legislative process to assimilate Native Americans, the current policy serves as a deploable means of punishment to migrants. It is a thinly disguised horrific scheme to achieve policy objectives over the bewildered cries of innocent children.”

Chairmas McClellan concludes his letter by writing:

“Family is a keystone of America. We vehemently oppose the current “zero-tolerance” immigration policy…”

In addition to the letter being sent to Attorney General Sessions and Secretary Nielson, it was sent to Michigan U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters.

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