Mass killing of American children follows on from recent Canadian discoveries
People across North America — and beyond — have watched in horror as the remains of over 1000 young people have been found in Canada at “residential schools” at just three former school sites. More than 130 sites have yet to be examined.
“For many Indigenous people, the most shocking element of the story is not the discovery of the graves but the fact that it’s taken so long for non-Natives to acknowledge the grim details of this long-ignored history of Indian residential schools, a story that is part of both U.S. and Canadian history,” Mary Annette Pember, a citizen of the Red Cliff Ojibwe tribe in Wisconsin, wrote recently in Indian Country Today.
The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition has identified 367 Indian boarding schools in the U.S., many of them in western states. That’s twice as many as in Canada. It is estimated that 60,000 children attended these schools in the United States. Records about the schools, many of which had cemeteries on the grounds, are scant.
The American schools, which spread across the country in the 19th and 20th centuries, were government funded and often run by churches. Although the act called for consent for such education, in practice many Native American children were forcibly taken from their homes.
The education soon became about assimilation into white, European culture. The children were beaten, starved and abused if they spoke their Native language, wore Native clothing or showed signs of their Native culture.
“The purpose of Indian boarding schools was to culturally assimilate Indigenous children by forcibly relocating them from their families and communities to distant residential facilities where their American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian identities, languages, and beliefs were to be forcibly suppressed. For over 150 years, hundreds of thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their communities,” the U.S. Department of the Interior said last month.
This violent history has gotten scant attention in most of America.
That will change, because of the Canadian deaths and a new initiative announced last month by U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haalan comprising a comprehensive review of the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies.
Will this review change anything? Governments commonly use “reviews” to bury things they don’t like. No doubt the mainstream media will play along. Take note when, or if, you ever hear anything about this genocide ever again.