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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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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), who began as an intern with Native News Online during the summer of 2021, is a freelance writer. Bardwell is a student at Michigan State University where she is majoring in policy and minoring in Native American studies.