We call upon the United States Congress to convene a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to provide redress to Native Americans for the harmful legacy of the Boarding School Era.

 

 

 

The Lakota People's Law Project calls on the U.S. government to follow the example set by Canada, South Africa and others and set up a federal Truth and Reconciliation Commission to confront, work through and find solutions for the trauma that continues today as the legacy of the Boarding School Era.  LPLP asserts that the current state foster care systems perpetuate the ideals and functions of the boarding school system, and that part of reconciliation must be a fundamental change in Native American Foster Care.  

 


 

1819

Indian Civilization Act: 10,000 a year to religious groups, begins the Mission Schools. Funding continues until late 1800s.
 

 

1879

Carlisle Indian Industrial School opens, Boarding School Era continues into late 1900s with the goal of civilizing through total assimilation.

 

 

1958

Indian Adoption Project begins, funded by the BIA and the U.S. Children's Bureau. Continues practice of removing Native children from their culture and heritage.

 

 

1975

Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act results in many large Boarding Schools closing the 1980s and 90s.

 

 

2016

United States federal policies, such as those enacted between the early 19th and late 20th centuries, continue to cause inter-generational trauma within Native American communities.

 

 

  

What is it?

The Truth and Reconciliation format is an effective methodology used successfully in numerous countries faced with historic injustices that continue to have lingering repercussions. Notable examples include South Africa and Canada. The commission will serve a threefold purpose:

  1. To expose the true extent of the injustices caused to various Native American tribes due to the federal policy of the Boarding School Era, which subjected numerous individuals to forced assimilation into the dominant Caucasian culture.

  2. To determine to what extent those policies continue to contribute to social ills that continue to plague Native American communities, particularly on reservations, where poverty, neglect, unemployment, poor health outcomes, high dropout rates continue to be an unaddressed problem.

  3. To effect a reconciliation between the Native American communities and the federal government, and to give Native American individuals an effective means of redress so a renewal can take place.

We hereby support the enactment by the United States Congress of a bill to create a Truth and Reconciliation Commission on American Indian Boarding School Policy; to take testimony from boarding school survivors, identifying how it impacted their lives so that their stories will not be lost in U.S. history; to release a comprehensive national study focused on the impacts and ongoing effects of the boarding school policy; to provide recommendations to Congress on how to begin an official process of healing, which includes specific ways to address the effects of the boarding school policy; and to provide recommendations to Congress on how to move toward having Child and Family Service Programs be run by Tribal Nations for Tribal Nations.

 

Read the Report

Read the Brochure

NOTE: If your organization or tribe wants to sign on to our resolution, please e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can keep our growing coalition connected and informed.  Thank you!