Vice President Murkowski: It’s high time to come to terms with the dark legacy of Indian boarding schools
washington d.c. – This week, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) held a monitoring hearing on “Volume 1 of the Department of the Interior’s Federal Indian Residential Schools Initiative Inquiry Report” and a legislative hearing to receive testimonials about S. 2907, the Indian Residential Schools Policy Truth and Healing Commission Act.
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Vice President of SCIA, delivered a keynote address acknowledging the dark legacy of the residential school era, the need to address these past injustices, and support processes that bring healing to survivors, their families and communities. The publication by the Ministry of the Interior of the first volume of his ongoing investigation is an important first step, but Congress must also act. Senator Murkowski is co-leading the legislation, S. 2907, to establish a formal commission to complement the Department of the Interior’s initiative, to investigate, document and further address the impacts of Indian residential schools.
“It is high time for the United States to come to terms with the dark and terrible legacy of Indian boarding schools. These boarding schools attempted to “break” native children in order to quickly assimilate them into the dominant white culture. As part of this process of rupture, Indigenous children have been stripped of their identity, language and culture, often by force. Many of these students never returned home,” said Vice President Murkowski. “Last September, on the National Day of Remembrance of Indian Residential Schools, I had the honor of speaking in the Senate to recognize and commemorate the children who attended these schools. The stories are terrible, but they are not isolated to Alaska. Instead, they sound a lot like many native children’s stories that are just beginning to be told. Alaska’s neighbor to the east, Canada, is grappling with its own history and the legacy of residential schools. The idea of a truth and healing commission to help address and heal such atrocities has been implemented in Canada and serves as an example that we can learn from, which is why I co-lead S. 2907 to establish an official Truth and Healing Commission. in the USA.”
Pictured: Senator Lisa Murkowski at the June 22, 2022 SCIA hearing
Vice President Murkowski invited Ms. Liz La quen náay Medicine Crow, President and CEO of the First Alaskans Institute, to testify at the SCIA hearing. Medicine Crow is Haida and Lingít from Kake, Alaska, and a registered tribal citizen of the Organized Village of Kake.
Pictured: Senator Lisa Murkowski with Ms. Liz La quen náay Medicine Crow at the SCIA hearing on June 22, 2022
Click here to watch the full SCIA hearing and find testimonials.