The United States operated 408 boarding schools for Indigenous children across 37 states or then-territories between 1819 and 1969 — half of them likely supported by religious institutions.
That’s according to the first volume of an investigative report into the country’s Indian boarding school system that was released Wednesday (May 11) by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
“Our initial investigation results show that approximately 50% of federal Indian boarding schools may have received support or involvement from religious institutions or organizations, including funding, infrastructure and personnel,” Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland said at a news conference on the progress of the department’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative.
The Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative was announced last summer by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to investigate the history and lasting consequences of the schools. That announcement came as Indigenous groups across Canada confirmed the remains of more than 1,000 Indigenous children buried near former residential schools for Indigenous children there.
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