Oral history project launched to document Native American boarding school experiences
The U.S. Department of the Interior has launched a project to document stories of Indigenous people who attended federal boarding schools.
Officials say it’s a first-of-its-kind effort within the government and is part of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative begun by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.
According to the department, it’ll gather first-person survivor narratives and establish an oral history collection that’ll be available to tribal governments, policymakers, researchers and the public.
The effort will be led by the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
In the 19th and 20th centuries the federal government operated the schools aimed at assimilating Indigenous children, removing them from their families and cultures.
Many attendees experienced years mental and physical abuse.