- By Jenna Kunze
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 legislation, called Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies Act, was originally introduced in 2020 by then-Congresswoman Deb Haaland, now the Secretary of the Interior Department. It was re-introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Congresswoman Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) (Ho-Chunk Nation) and Congressman Tom Cole (R-Okla.) in Sept 2022.
The bill would establish a truth and healing commission to investigate the impacts and ongoing effects of the Indian boarding school policies. That commission 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 is holding a hearing on the legislation on Thursday, May 12. The Subcommittee is accepting written testimony from survivors and their descendants until May 26th.
The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS), a respected agency dedicated to the work of Indian Boarding School truth and healing for over a decade—including advocating for a truth and reconciliation commission—encouraged via email on Monday any survivor willing to submit their personal story as a boarding school attendee, or their descendant.
“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],” the email reads.
Those unfamiliar with the legislation can read the Native American Boarding School Health Coalition's one-pager that includes key provisions of the law, and information about why such a commission is necessary for Indian Country.
Tell Us What You Think
More Stories Like ThisCortez Masto, Gallego Introduce BADGES Act to Strengthen Tribal Law Enforcement
University of Kansas Says It Has Native American Remains in Museum Collection
AAIA Aiming to ReACTivate Ancestral Connections at 8th Annual Repatriation Conference
A Road Map Home: Reclaiming Buried Relatives from Carlisle Indian School
Preservation of Peyote Habitat Top Priority by Native American Church on Capitol Hill
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.