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US identifies Native American boarding schools, burial sites

Native Americans-Boarding Schools
Posted at 11:34 AM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 14:34:34-04

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A new federal study shows the U.S. government supported more than 400 Native American boarding schools aimed at assimilating Native children.

The Interior Department's findings released Wednesday expanded the number of schools known to have operated.

It also said nearly 20 of the schools accounted for over 500 child deaths.

So far, more than 50 burial sites at or near the schools have been identified, not all with marked graves.

That number is expected to grow as the research continues.

Native Americans-Boarding Schools
A makeshift memorial for the dozens of Indigenous children who died more than a century ago while attending a boarding school that was once located nearby is displayed under a tree at a public park in Albuquerque, N.M., on July 1, 2021. The U.S. Interior Department is expected to release a report Wednesday, May 11, 2022, that it says will begin to uncover the truth about the federal government's past oversight of Native American boarding schools. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

The boarding schools have a dark history of children taken from their families and prohibited from speaking their Native languages.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced last year her agency would investigate their legacy and uncover the truth about the government’s role in them.

Native Americans-Boarding Schools
Red painted handprints cover the empty spot at a park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Thursday, July 1, 2021, where a historical marker for the Indigenous children who died while attending a boarding school nearby was removed. The U.S. Interior Department is expected to release a report Wednesday, May 11, 2022, that it says will begin to uncover the truth about the federal government's past oversight of Native American boarding schools. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan,File)

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