Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policy in the United States bill

There is a long and terrible history related to the attempts to forcibly assimilate native children into the White settler culture that colonized the lands and people in what are known as the United States and Canada.

This is a subject I have had a concern about for a long time. (see: https://jeffkisling.com/?s=%22boarding+schools%22)

The timing of the introduction of the bill described below is intentional. The president said he would sign an executive order encouraging schools to give students a “patriotic education,” one that doesn’t teach “lies” about the country being “plagued with racism.”

This is ironic because the history taught in schools absolutely needs to be corrected since it is taught from the view of White settler colonialism. With little or no truthful material about the history of slavery and the genocide of indigenous peoples.

The president’s intention to rewrite history is extremely alarming because it is one of the fundamental tactics of authoritarianism. Added to a long list of other authoritarian acts by this administration.

Regardless of those politics, we really need a Truth and Healing Commission on Boarding School Policy in the United States.

This video by my friend Paula Palmer is an excellent introduction to this subject.


Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will introduce legislation Tuesday to make the federal government address the “intergenerational trauma” it has caused for Native Americans with its former Indian boarding school policy, a nearly century-long policy of forcibly removing Indigenous children from tribal lands and putting them into boarding schools to be assimilated into white culture.

Their bill, the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policy Act, would create a first-of-its-kind U.S. commission to document and acknowledge the past injustices of the government’s “cultural genocide and assimilation practices.” The commission would enlist Congress to come up with recommendations for improving public awareness and education on the government’s former policy.

The issue is personal for Haaland, who is one of just two Native American women to ever serve in Congress. Her grandparents were taken away to attend boarding schools.

“Native people are resilient and strong, but the painful and traumatic history of genocide and forced assimilation by the federal government lives on in our communities and our people have never been able to fully heal,” Haaland said in a statement. “I know not many people are aware of the history of Indian boarding schools, and I know it’s not taught in schools ― but our country must do better to acknowledge our real history and push for truth and reconciliation.”

The timing of the bill’s introduction is intentional: It is in response to President Donald Trump announcing this month that he would sign an executive order encouraging schools to give students a “patriotic education,” one that doesn’t teach “lies” about the country being “plagued with racism.”

It was an entirely political move on Trump’s part; the federal government does not control local school curriculums. He announced his executive action after a decision by some school districts to teach history in a more honest and even-handed way, as outlined by The New York Times’ 1619 Project, which reframes the narrative of U.S. history in the context of slavery and contributions of Black Americans.

Democrats To Unveil Bill Addressing Government’s Cultural Genocide Of Native Americans. The bill spotlights the “intergenerational trauma” faced by Indigenous people after children were forcibly separated from their parents and put into white boarding schools by Jennifer Bendery, HufPost, 9/29/2020


Here is a link to the PDF file of the following, which is easier to read. https://turtletalk.files.wordpress.com/2020/10/truthandhealingcommissiononindianboardingschoolpolicy.pdf

https://turtletalk.files.wordpress.com/2020/10/truthandhealingcommissiononindianboardingschoolpolicy.pdf

S.4752 – A bill to establish the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policy in the United States, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Warren, Elizabeth [D-MA] (Introduced 09/29/2020)
Committees: Senate – Indian Affairs
Latest Action: Senate – 09/29/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/4752


H.R.8420 – To establish the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policy in the United States, and for other purposes.
Date All Actions
09/29/2020 Referred to the Committee on Education and Labor, and in addition to the Committee on Natural Resources, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
Action By: House of Representatives
09/29/2020 Introduced in House
Action By: House of Representatives
https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/8420/


https://www.warren.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/The%20Truth%20and%20Healing%20Commission%20on%20Indian%20Boarding%20School%20Policy%20Act.pdf

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