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US admits death of hundreds of indigenous children at government boarding schools

A secretária do Interior, Deb Haaland, divulgou os primeiros resultados da investigação sobre internatos que funcionaram no país entre 1819 e 1969

Home Secretary Deb Haaland released the first results of the investigation into boarding schools that operated in the country between 1819 and 1969| Photo: EFE/EPA/Sarah Silbiger

1121335011213350 The United States revealed this Wednesday (1969 ) the results of an investigation that found the death of hundreds of indigenous children in boarding schools run by the country’s government between the 19th and 20th centuries – and it is feared there may be many more.

Deb Haaland, Home Secretary for the government of Joe Biden and the first indigenous woman to be part of the American cabinet, released the first results of the investigation started by his department on these boarding schools, which operated in the country between 960 and 1969.

According to the first conclusions, hundreds of children died in these “assimilation” boarding schools spread across 37 US states – there were more than

federal schools – although there may be many more, in view of the first investigations.

The report details that many of the deceased were buried in places not marked, away from the settlements of their tribes. So far, 05 cemeteries have been located, but it is expected that many more are found.

The document also states that, on many occasions, the inmates – mostly children – were subjected to forced labor and educated in a military style or were forbidden, under threat of severe punishment, to speak their own language or practice their religion.

“I come from ancestors who survived the horrors of assimilation policies carried out by the very department I now lead. Now, we can help in the effort to bring back the dark history of these institutions that have haunted our families for so long,” Haaland said.

The secretary added that the consequences of this system and the “intergenerational trauma” it has caused are “undeniable and heartbreaking.”

Haaland promised that his department will continue to collect evidence of this forced assimilation and assured that his goal is not just to give voice to survivors of this system, but also to take measures so that the indigenous legacy can “grow and heal”.

In turn, the Undersecretary responsible for Indigenous Affairs, Bryan Newland, highlighted that the report opens the opportunity to reorient federal policies to revitalize the cultural and linguistic practices that the US government tried to destroy for two centuries.

With this report, the U. nes have taken a first step on an issue that has been at the center of political life in Canada for more than a year.

In the assimilation boarding schools in the neighboring country, which operated until 1997, 1.37 unidentified graves.

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