Over a period of 150 years, at least three of the 500 Native children in boarding schools in the United States die each year. This is an initial decision made by the U.S. Department of the Interior from an investigation into boarding schools in 37 states.
After hundreds of graves were found in boarding schools for aboriginal children in Canada, US Secretary of State Deb Hollande decided to inquire about accommodation in his own country. It is about Catholic, Protestant and governmental institutions from 1819-1969.
In boarding schools in the United States – including Alaska and Hawaii – children were brought up hard to teach them ‘civilization’. In addition, it helped the government to expropriate land from the tribal people.
Children were given corporal punishment, deprived of food, locked up and sometimes sexually abused.
The real quality is high
The 500 children who did not survive were only a fraction of the total number of victims. The ministry estimates the actual number in its report, which is spread over a total of 408 boarding schools, ‘in the thousands to tens of thousands’. 53 graves have now been discovered in nineteen institutions.
At the presentation of the early discoveries, Minister Hollande spoke of ‘the abominations inflicted on my ancestors by the ministry I now lead’. “My maternal grandparents were eight years old when they were deprived of their parents, culture and community and raised in a boarding school. Like many children, they never return home.
Hollande investigators first want to map out the full extent of the abuse – sometimes dangerous – and then identify the victims and bury them near relatives. There will be programs for families affected by ‘intergenerational trauma’. Hollande is going to see them all over the country when he calls The path to healing – The path to healing.
Michelle Good wrote about abuse in Canadian boarding schools
First an activist, then a lawyer, and now a novelist, Michael Good attracted the attention of generations of aboriginal children pushed into boarding schools in Canada. “Now that everyone’s looking at these bones, you can not maintain that it did not happen.”
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