From their beginnings the Indian residential schools, as they were called, in the United States and Canada, were institutions of cultural genocide, abuse, hunger, illness and death of Native children. Some were literally killed. Others died from disease. Or during their desperate journeys of escape. The institutions were usually far away from the tribe.
I hadn’t realized it until recently, but this purposeful cruelty was intended to quell Native resistance to being forced off their lands.
The recent verification of the remains of Native children at the Kamloops institution has triggered profound grief. See: Boarding schools – LANDBACK Friends
This discovery led Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, to create the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative for a comprehensive review of Federal boarding school policies in the United States. See: Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative – LANDBACK Friends
Part of the devastation at the news from Kamloops was knowing children’s remains would be found at many, probably most, other residential schools. Now there is news of many more remains at another Canadian institution. It doesn’t seem right to call them schools.
“This was a crime against humanity, an assault on First Nations,” said Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous First Nations in Saskatchewan. He said he expects more graves will be found on residential school grounds across Canada.
“We will not stop until we find all the bodies,” he said.
From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian schools, the majority of them run by Roman Catholic missionary congregations, in a campaign to assimilate them into Canadian society.Report: Over 600 bodies found at Indigenous school in Canada. Leaders of Indigenous groups in Canada say investigators have found more than 600 unmarked graves at the site of a former residential school for Indigenous children — a discovery that follows last month’s report of 215 bodies found at another school By JIM MORRIS, Associated Press
June 24, 2021
This is just incomprehensible. A web of grief for all the connections of each child. The parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and other families and tribal communities and nations. A web that continues across generations.
It adds to the injury that there has been so little press coverage of these monumental tragedies. Yet another way lack of concern for Indigenous peoples continues to be demonstrated. I find it infuriating. Native people are who should tell the stories here. But we can help spread the news as appropriate. So others are aware and looks for ways to help in these dire times. The purpose of this blog is to inform people about the concepts involved in LANDBACK. Which includes being informed about all aspects of the relationships of non-native people with Indigenous peoples.
Additional coverage: Canadian First Nation group finds 751 bodies in unmarked graves at another ‘Indian residential’ school run by Catholics where children were ‘assimilated’ into society By SOPHIE TANNO FOR MAILONLINE, DailyMail, June 24, 2021
The foundation of LANDBACK is to support the leadership of Native people. In Iowa we are being asked to show up for “Stop whitewashing genocide and slavery. Bring back critical race theory and remove monuments to white supremacy in Iowa”. July 4, 2021 at the Iowa State Capitol.”
With this crappy critical race theory bill being passed in Iowa, I think it’s more important than ever that folks show up to this event! The law bans teaching certain concepts, such as that the U.S. or Iowa is systemically racist… but yet this entire state is littered with monuments to white supremacy.
Please try and find the time to be there and show your solidarity with BIPOC folks.Christine Nobiss
Stop Whitewashing Genocide & Slavery!!! Bring Back Critical Race Theory & Remove Monuments to White Supremacy in Iowa!
We have an event planned for July 4th at the Capitol Complex and we would love to see a mass turnout to support the BIPOC struggle in Iowa. If your organization would like to join our coalition and co-host, hit me up ASAP and send me your logo.
Don’t be a bystander to white supremacy. Fight back!
More info at the https://fb.me/e/2unK2uiVj
Great Plains Action Society
As we struggle with these tragic stories, one thing we are asked to do is show up.
#LANDBACK #NoMonumentsToWhiteSupremacy #GreatPlainsActionSociety