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Indian boarding school survivors and their descendants are invited to submit written testimony to the House Natural Resource Subcommittee for Indigenous People in support of legislation that would create a Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding Schools in the United States.

The commission would investigate the impacts and ongoing effects of the Indian boarding school policies, and would be tasked with developing recommendations on ways to: protect unmarked graves and accompanying land protections; support repatriation and identify the Tribal nations from which children were taken; and discontinue the removal of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children from their families and tribal communities by state social service departments, foster care agencies, and adoption agencies.

The House Natural Resource Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples held a hearing on the legislation on Thursday, May 12. Boarding school survivors and leaders of organizations representing them testified in support of the legislation, often citing the abuses children endured and how that has impacted their lives.

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The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS) is encouraging those impacted by boarding schools to submit written testimony to the subcommittee by May 26.

“The House allows for written testimony until May 26, 2022. Therefore, we are humbly asking you to share your story by emailing the House Natural Resource Committee at: [email protected] and CC NABS at [email protected],” NABS director Deborah Parker wrote on Facebook.

The Native American Boarding School Health Coalition has a one-pager that includes key provisions of the law, and information about why such a commission is necessary for Indian Country. 

Testimony must be typed into a word document and submitted by emailing [email protected]. NABS created a draft template to follow for those looking for a place to start.

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November is  Native American Heritage Month in the United States. We feel like every month — and every day — is a reason for celebrating Native Americans and our heritage. That’s what we try to do here at Native News Online, with stories each day that celebrate, inform and uplift American Indian and Alaska Native people. Over the past year or so, we have been especially busy with three important reporting projects that are having an impact across Indian Country:

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About The Author
Jenna Kunze
Author: Jenna KunzeEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Staff Writer
Jenna Kunze is a staff reporter covering Indian health, the environment and breaking news for Native News Online. She is also the publication's lead reporter on stories related to Indian boarding schools and repatriation. Her bylines have appeared in The Arctic Sounder, High Country News, Indian Country Today, Tribal Business News, Smithsonian Magazine, Elle and Anchorage Daily News. Kunze is based in New York.