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Your questions about Indian Boarding Schools, as answered by our team. 

Survivor of 12 years of Boarding School. What's the purpose of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative? Asking for an apology is putting salt on the wound might as well not mess with it.  I'm 60 years old now and I have carried these wounds for a very long time.

The stated purpose of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative is not about the government issuing an apology, but rather about taking responsibility and defining what existing responsibility the government bears in rebuilding the cultures it sought to destroy. 

The primary goal of the investigation was to, for the first time in history, identify boarding school facilities; the location of known and possible student burial sites located at or near school facilities; and the identities and tribal affiliations of children interred at such locations. 

“To begin the process of healing from the harm and violence caused by assimilation policy, the Department should affirm an express policy of cultural revitalization— supporting the work of Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Villages, and the Native Hawaiian Community to revitalize their languages, cultural practices, and traditional food systems, and to protect and strengthen intra-Tribal relations,” Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland wrote in the report’s conclusion.

Read previous Q & As on Indian Boarding Schools

Readers Ask Us 1, June 7th

Readers Ask Us 2, June 10

Readers Ask Us 3, July 21

If you have a question about Indian Boarding Schools, please submit them to [email protected] or use the online form that can be found at the bottom of stories such as this one. Want to help us shine a light on the dark era of Indian Boarding Schools and their continued impact on Native families and communities today? Become a recurring donor for $5 or $10 a month, or make a one-time donation.  


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This May, we are highlighting our coverage of Indian boarding schools and their generational impact on Native families and Native communities. Giving survivors of boarding schools and their descendants the opportunity to share their stories is an important step toward healing — not just because they are speaking, but because they are being heard. Their stories must be heard. Help our efforts to make sure Native stories and Native voices are heard in 2024. Please consider a recurring donation to help fund our ongoing coverage of Indian boarding schools. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.

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