Fri May 20th, 2022
Tags: American Dream, Boarding School, Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report, Indian Country, Indian Policy, Secretary of the Interior, Southern Ute Chairman Melvin Baker, Southern Ute Indian Tribe
The Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report is the first step in pulling back the layers of secrets that have remained hidden for decades resulting from the federal government’s assimilationist Indian Policy. The report’s findings, and our oral histories passed down from our grandparents and parents, expose the true and accurate agenda of the federal policy in the United States.
The report is long coming, but opens a deep, painful wound in our community. To read of the violent trauma experienced from our ancestors as a strategic tool to assimilate our people, starving them of our traditional and cultural identity in an act of genocide, is heartbreaking. But just as the report rips open the wounds, it also serves as an example of the resilience of our people.
The report also documents the misleading initiatives of the federal government to bring the “American Dream” to Indigenous communities. The United States purposely introduced policies that would subject our ancestors to economic hardship in another attempt at genocide. Indian Country has been ringing the alarm about the inequities that exist for years. The report is proof the federal government never intended to treat Tribes as sovereign nations.
We would like to thank the Secretary of the Interior for leading this initiative, bringing awareness to the atrocities experienced by Indigenous communities. We look forward to working with the State of Colorado, the various federal partners, and local entities to bring our children home. We also hope this report, and others to follow, bring about purposeful change to how the history of the United States of America is taught in schools today and in the future.