- By Native News Online Staff
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS) are urging the Indian Health Service (IHS) to ensure that culturally appropriate supports are in place for survivors and communities impacted by lingering effects of Indian boarding school policies. Their outreach to IHS via a letter follows Interior Secretary Deb Haaland establishment of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative on June 22, 2021.
Sen. Warren and Rep. Davids asked that IHS develop protections with the Dept. of Health and Human Services programs and the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for those who suffer from intergenerational trauma associated with Indian boarding school policies.
The letter was joined by 19 of their colleagues in Congress.
“We urge IHS to consider potential protections for those experiencing trauma from the Indian Boarding School Policies and the revelations that will continue to emerge during the course of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative. This revisiting and exploration of the boarding school era could be traumatic for survivors, their families, and their communities.”
The requests in the letter were suggested—and are supported—by the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition and the National Indian Health Board (NIHB). One step identified in the letter that has been recommended by the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition and NIHB is the creation of a culturally competent hotline.
The legacy of the Indian boarding school policies continues to impact Native communities through intergenerational trauma, grief over the loss of children who never returned, cycles of violence and abuse, disappearance, health disparities, substance abuse, premature deaths, despair, and additional undocumented psychological trauma.
“The Indian Boarding School era is a stain in America’s history, and it is long overdue that we begin to formally investigate the past wrongs and ongoing harms of these policies. We therefore strongly commend the Biden Administration’s courage and commitment to investigating the harms imposed on Native communities by the federal government, and we look forward to working together to address the resulting painful intergenerational reverberations in Native communities today,” the lawmakers concluded.
More Stories Like ThisNative News Weekly (June 26, 2022): D.C. Briefs
Native Bidaské with Connie Johnson, Candidate in Oklahoma's Gubernatorial Primary
President Biden Signs New Gun Law Aimed to Keep Guns Away from Dangerous People
Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Indian Country Responds
President Biden Nominates Patrice Kunesh for Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans
Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news?
For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.