*Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has apologized on behalf of the state for the government-operated indigenous schools that aimed to assimilate Native American children into white society.
NPR writes: “The Stewart School in Carson City is among more than 350 residential schools that the U.S. Interior Department plans to examine as part of the Federal Boarding School Initiative Review, which includes an investigation into student deaths and known and possible burial sites.”
The report goes on to state: “Native children as young as 4 were forcibly taken from their families and sent to off-reservation boarding schools. Their hair was cut. They were converted to Christianity. And they were prohibited from speaking their native languages. They were often subjected to military-style discipline and, until reforms in the mid-20th century, curriculums focused heavily on vocational skills and, for girls, homemaking.”
The state is cooperating with a federal investigation into the Stewart Indian School located near Carson City, per the report.
As noted by Complex, “the institution, which operated from 1890 to 1980, is one of the 350 residential schools being that is being investigated for abuse and the potential deaths of Indigenous children, who were forcibly removed from their reservations and families,” the outlet writes.
“Though it was the federal government that established a policy to ‘kill the Indian to save the man,’ it was the state of Nevada that sold the bonds to fund this school, and it’s the state that now manages much of this land,” the governor said. “On the behalf of this state I want to make an apology. “Acknowledging this role will not heal the pain. … However, this is the beginning, and I’m proud to be the governor to take that first step.”
An investigation was launched into the abusive schools after the remains of more than 200 children were found buried at a former boarding school in Canada.
“While it may be difficult to learn of the traumas suffered in the boarding school era, understanding its impacts on communities today cannot occur without acknowledging that painful history,” Deb Haaland, the Interior Department’s first Native American secretary, wrote in a memo dated June 22, 2021. “Only by acknowledging the past can we work toward a future we are all proud to embrace.”