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NATIVE NEWS: Indian Boarding School Bill Sees Renewed Momentum on Capitol Hill

By Acee Agoyo

Applause broke out on Capitol Hill with the advancement of a bipartisan bill that will finally help address the harmful legacy of the Indian boarding school era.

By a vote of 34 to 4, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce approved H.R.7227, the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies Act, at a markup on June 13. The overwhelming show of support drew an audible response from lawmakers — as well as from tribal citizens who gathered in the nation’s capital for the session.

Among those in attendance were representatives of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS). The non-profit has been lobbying the U.S. Congress to account for the educational institutions where more than than 60,000 American Indian and Alaska Native children were taken from their homes for more than a century, all in an effort to break their connection to their tribal communities.

“The legacy of Indian boarding schools unveils deep-ceded injustices that have profoundly affected and continue to resonate within tribal nations and communities,” said said NABS CEO Deborah Parker, a citizen of the Tulalip Tribes who sat in the front row of the committee room as the roll call was taking place.


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