WA State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced a five-person team that will look into the history of Native American boarding schools in WA state.
The committee will reportedly find ways to deal with harm from schools
According to a release from the AG’s office:
“The five new members of Ferguson’s Truth & Reconciliation Tribal Advisory Committee will hold public listening sessions across the state over the next year to begin a two-year journey toward uncovering the full history of Indian boarding schools in Washington.”
At one point across Washington state, there were an estimated 15 such boarding schools, where Native American children were sent, sometimes with their families. According to various sources, as reservations became more crowded, these schools were an attempt to ‘Americanize’ the people. Some critics say the schools were meant to strip away their Native American heritage.
Ferguson says the two-year study will result in policies and plans that will, according to the release:
“The committee will submit a report in 2025 that, among other goals, delivers recommendations on how the state can address the harm done by Indian boarding schools and other cultural and linguistic termination practices through a truth and reconciliation model.”
Truth and reconciliation often result in reparations (often financial) to descendants of societal or ethnic groups who were mistreated generations ago, according to those who are conducting the efforts.
Except for a boarding school near Omak, WA, which closed in 1973, the other eastern or Central WA schools near Spokane and southwest of Yakima (Fort Simcoe) closed between 1914 and 1921.
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