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Interior Chair Pingree: Indian Boarding School Report Critical Step to Uncover Inhumane Treatment of Native People

Maine’s 1st District Congresswoman allocated $7 million in FY 2022 Appropriations Bill to aid Interior investigation into federal Indian boarding school policies

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee on Interior and Environment, today released the following statement in response a new Interior Department investigative report into historical abuse at federal Indian boarding schools: 

“This painful investigation uncovers a shameful stain from America’s past that has been whitewashed from our history books. If we hope to stop the cycle of the intergenerational trauma felt by native people, we must confront the 150-year legacy of federal Indian boarding schools which were created by the US Government to explicitly eradicate native culture and indoctrinate Indigenous children away from their communities,” said Interior Appropriations Chair Pingree. “I fought for the funding to conduct this investigation and create an official Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative because the only way we can heal the injustices directed at Indigenous people is by confronting our past wrongs. I applaud Secretary Haaland and Assistant Secretary Newland for their commitment to unearthing the truth.”

The fiscal year 2022 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations included $7 million for the Native boarding school initiative and to prepare a report on efforts to address this wrong.

Beginning in 1819, the United States government began sending hundreds of thousands of Indigenous children to federal Indian boarding schools to forcefully assimilate them away from their communities.

In 2021, Secretary Haaland officially announced the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, a comprehensive review of the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies.


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