Friday, May 13, 2022

Scarred For Life

 Volume 1 of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report said approximately 19 Federal Indian boarding schools accounted for more than 500 deaths. The number of recorded deaths is expected to rise as the department continues investigating 

From 1819 to 1969, the federal Indian boarding school system consisted of 408 federal schools across 37 states or then territories, including 21 schools in Alaska and 7 schools in Hawaii.

"...the federal Indian boarding school system deployed systematic militarized and identity-alteration methodologies in an attempt to assimilate American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children through education, including but not limited to renaming Indian children from Indian to English names; cutting the hair of Indian children; discouraging or preventing the use of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian languages, religions and cultural practices; and organizing Indian and Native Hawaiian children into units to perform military drills..."

The report found boarding school rules were often enforced through "corporal punishment like solitary confinement, flogging, withholding food, whipping, slapping and cuffing."

Preston S. McBride, an Indian boarding school historian and a Comanche descendent. McBride has found more than 1,000 student deaths at the four former boarding schools he has studied, and estimates the overall number of deaths could be as high as 40,000.

“Basically every school had a cemetery,” he said. “There are deaths at or deaths because of virtually every single boarding school.”

Those deaths were the result of everything from illness to abuse, McBride said, based on his review of historical records. Getting to the true number would take a significant amount of time and research, McBride said. “I think we have a long way to go.”

Hundreds Of Native American Children Died In U.S. Government-run Abusive Schools| Countercurrents

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