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Investigators find burial sites at 53 former Indigenous residential schools in US – Canada News

Burial sites at US schools

The Canadian Press – | Story: 368686

Investigators have found marked and unmarked burial sites at the locations of 53 former Indigenous residential schools in the United States.

The long-awaited report from the US Department of the Interior also warns that the number of identified sites is likely to go up as the investigation continues.

The report, commissioned by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, concludes there were 408 schools that operated in 37 states and territories between 1819 and 1969.

It also says 19 of those schools accounted for the deaths of more than 500 Indigenous people, including some from Alaska and Hawaii.

That number, too, is expected to increase as the investigation unfolds.

Haaland, the first Indigenous person in her post in US history, ordered the probe last spring after First Nations in Canada began reporting the discovery of unmarked burial sites on the grounds of former residential schools.

In a statement, she described the consequences of federal residential school policies that separated families and aimed to wipe out Indigenous culture as “heartbreaking and undeniable.”

“We continue to see the evidence of this attempt to forcibly assimilate Indigenous people in the disparities that communities face,” Haaland said.

“It is my priority to not only give voice to the survivors and descendants of federal Indian boarding school policies, but also to address the lasting legacies of these policies so Indigenous Peoples can continue to grow and heal.”

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