Kansas Governor Goes to Haskell to Apologize for Indian Boarding Schools

Stacy Kaye, Gov. Brownback & Miss Haskell 2013-2014

Stacy Kaye, Gov. Brownback & Miss Haskell 2013-2014

LAWRENCE, KANSAS – Apologizing for the assimilation policies done by Indian boarding schools, such as Haskell Indian Nations University, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed the official proclamation in front of many students, staff and faculty at Haskell on Thursday.

The final paragraph read:

“Now, therefore, I, Sam Brownback, Governor of the State of Kansas, do hereby proclaim and recognize Haskell Indian Nations University and the special and historical significance this college has with the State of Kansas, and expresses deep remorse for the ramifications of former ill-conceived assimilation polices and apologizes on behalf of the people Kansas to all Native Peoples for the hardships, maltreatment and deaths of the children that attended Haskell and were never returned to their families and ancestors, and resolves to move forward with Haskell in a positive and constructive relationship that will help us to achieve our mutual goals and harmoniously steward and protect Haskell Indian Nations University.”

The “Healing and Restoration” event at Haskell had speakers tell their experiences to watching a boarding school documentary called “We Were Children”.

Governor Brownback sat and listened to each of them as they relayed their own comments and the emotions it brought forth. Brownback watched the film as well.  When he spoke, he talked about the relationship between the government and Native people as well as the work he put into a bill that went through as the Apology to Native Americans.

Haskell Student Senate President Stacy Kaye (Hopi) spoke at the event and said she felt Governor Brownback’s proclamation was a step in the right direction.

“Politics is a give and take, love hate relationship and I think this is one of his ways to try and gain some trust within the Native American community,” said in response to the proclamation.

 

PROCLAMATION BY KANSAS GOVERNOR SAM BROWNBACK

PRESENTED AT HASKELL INDIAN NATIONS UNIVERSITY

NOVEMBER 14, 2013

 “TO THE PEOPLE OF KANSAS, GREETINGS
WHEREAS, for more than a century, Indian boarding schools separated young Native children from their families and communities for the purpose of educating the children in isolation far from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures, and;

WHEREAS, too often many of these children were forcibly removed from their homes and sent to boarding and mission schools; were inadequately fed, clothed, housed and deprived of the care and nurturing of their parents, grandparents and communities; and were forbidden to speak their Native language or practice their cultural traditions, and were often subjected to physical and mental abuse; and tragically the most vulnerable of these children died while attending these schools and were never returned home to their parents and tribes; and

WHEREAS, despite the harsh and sad beginnings of the Indian boarding schools and mission schools, Haskell officially opened in 1884 under the name of the United States Indian Industrial Training School and provided agricultural trades training and elementary level academic training; and

WHEREAS, During the 1930s Haskell provided Industrial training and evolved into a vocational-technical institution, and continued to evolve into a junior college in 1970 and renamed Haskell Indian Junior College; and

WHEREAS, Twenty-two years later, Haskell’s vision to become a national center for Indian education, research and cultural preservation prompted the National Haskell Board of Regents to recommend Haskell to become Haskell Indian Nations University;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sam Brownback, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF KANSAS, do hereby proclaim and recognize Haskell Indian Nations University and the special and historical significance this college has with the State of Kansas, and expresses deep remorse for the ramifications of former ill-conceived assimilation policies, and apologizes on behalf of the people of Kansas to all Native Peoples for the hardships, maltreatment and deaths of the children that attended Haskell and were never returned to their families and ancestors, and resolves to move forward with Haskell in a positive and constructive relationship that will help us to achieve our mutual goals and harmoniously steward and protect Haskell Indian Nations University.”

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback

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