Remains of Native American Children Point to Widespread Abuse Committed Within Federal Boarding Schools

The reports released yesterday further confirmed the U.S. government’s plan to completely wipe out Native American culture.

Native American girls from the Omaha tribe at Carlisle School, Pennsylvania. Credit: Getty Images
Native American girls from the Omaha tribe at Carlisle School, Pennsylvania. Credit: Getty Images

According to a new report released by the Interior Department yesterday, the remains of more than 500 Native American children were discovered at burial sites and linked to federal boarding schools.

The tragic discovery was made as a part of a wide-ranging investigation into the American Indian boarding school system, which spanned from the 1800s and well into the 1970s and attempted to systematically destroy and erase all aspects of Indigenous culture. Countless Native children were physically and sexually abused within these boarding schools, while many others were murdered. Their families were given no information on their disappearance.

The reports released yesterday further confirmed the U.S. government’s plan to completely wipe out Native American culture. It states that during a confidential meeting, Thomas Jefferson told Congress that he wanted to create policies that would intentionally separate Indigenous tribes from their land by using Christianity to coerce young children away from their parents and paying churches to help run the system.

Up until today, the federal government has refused to acknowledge or confirm the wrongdoings. Many activists have been motioning for federal recognition and documentation of the violent atrocities and are hopeful for next steps.

Deborah Parker, the CEO of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition exclusively told BuzzFeed, “This ... reaffirms the stories we all grew up with, the truth of our people, and the often immense torture our elders and ancestors went through as children at the hands of the federal government and the religious institutions. The impacts of boarding schools are still with us today.”


 

Although the report found that the U.S. operated 408 schools across 37 states, it also stated that there are probably hundreds of more deaths that went unreported, and that the government used federal trusts allotted to Native tribes to fund their attacks on Indigenous people and culture.