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An emotional day in Indian Country yesterday, May 11, as the Department of Interior released their Boarding School Initiative Volume 1 Investigative Report. Shortly after this report was released, Native News Online spoke with Deb Parker and Dr. Samuel Torres, Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Chief and Executive Officer of the Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS), respectively.

Parker spoke to the process of the initiative and her involvement with the initiative. 

“We are still analyzing and we’re still trying to find the words to support this document and the words to find understanding in this time of exploration and this time of truth telling. It has been an emotional week,” she continues, “NABS has brought boarding school survivors to Washington D.C. to talk to senators and congressmen and women.” 

Torres emphasized the groundbreaking nature of the report

“Really what I think was most enlightening for us and what has put us in a very profoundly reflective place today is that for the first time the federal government has put together a blueprint, an overall apparatus, that has identified that this is, for the first time, an accounting of all of the federal boarding schools,” he continues, “This is a foundational moment.”

Watch the entire livestream:

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12 years of Native News

This month, we celebrate our 12th year of delivering Native News to readers throughout Indian Country and beyond. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.

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. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and to tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.

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About The Author
Neely Bardwell
Author: Neely BardwellEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Neely Bardwell (descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indian) is a staff reporter for Native News Online. Bardwell is also a student at Michigan State University where she is majoring in policy and minoring in Native American studies.