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Indian Boarding Schools

July 27, 2021

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland talks about the boarding school era in our country when for 150 years Native American children were taken from their families and forced to live at boarding schools. The effort to assimilate Indigenous children into the dominant culture involved disconnecting them from their cultural traditions. This history includes trauma, abuse, and death.

On June 22 Secretary Haaland announced the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, a comprehensive review of the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies. The initiative includes a long and arduous task of exploring historical records with an emphasis on cemeteries or potential burial sites related to the boarding schools.“It won’t undo the heartbreak and loss we feel,” Haaland remarked. “But only by acknowledging the past can we work toward a future that we’re all proud to embrace.”

The desired length of featured videos for Seeing Color is less than five minutes. This clip from the PBS News Hour is more than nine minutes but even if you stop watching after the first three minutes you will have gotten a lot to think about.