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Native Americans share trauma of Arizona boarding schools

Matt York
AP Photo
U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, right, and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland, left, listen as April Hiosik Ignacio, center, speaks of her grandmother's time in an Indian boarding school during a "Road to Healing" event, Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, at the Gila Crossing Community School in Laveen, Ariz. The "The Road to Healing," is a year-long tour across the country to provide Indigenous survivors of the federal Indian boarding school system and their descendants an opportunity to share their experiences.

Native American boarding school survivors of abuse and their descendants shared memories and tears in Arizona on U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland's yearlong “Road to Healing” initiative.

They spoke Friday at a school in the Gila Indian River Community just south of Phoenix before a large audience that included Gov. Katie Hobbs and Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego.

It is the fourth stop for the nation’s first and only Native American Cabinet secretary following stops in South Dakota, Oklahoma and Michigan.

Several testimonies addressed issues in addition to abuse, including losing one's culture, language and identity.