OLYMPIA, Wash.-A Truth and Reconciliation Tribal Advisory Committee will begin studying how the state can address the government’s historical role in Indian boarding schools.
“These schools are not just a shameful part of our history — the trauma they caused reverberates through generations of Indigenous families,” Ferguson said.
According to a press release from the AG’s Office, the five-member committee will hold public listening sessions across the state as part of a two-year plan to uncover the full history of Indian boarding schools in Washington.
The committee will hold its first listening session in January of 2024.
Committee members must be citizens from federally recognized tribes in diverse geographic areas across the state and must also either have personal or policy experience with Indian boarding school history and policies, or have expertise in traditionally and culturally appropriate truth and healing endeavors.
The Tribal Advisory Committee will study the full extent of the impacts of cultural assimilation practices in Washington state, including 17 boarding schools identified by the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition in August.
“We are grateful for Washington state’s leadership in not only investigating its role during the Indian boarding school era, but also its willingness to promote healing for survivors,” said Deborah Parker (Tulalip), CEO of The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition.