National Day of Remembrance for U.S. Indian Boarding Schools, also known as Orange Shirt Day, is a day to honor the victims and survivors of the 367 boarding schools in the United States.
Canada will also be honoring the first National Day of Truth & Reconciliation on the same day. Canada was home to 139 federally-run residential schools.
Today, we at Native Americans in Philanthropy are making a call to stand with us and our relatives across Turtle Island as we work toward healing from the long-lasting effects of the boarding and residential school systems.
Philanthropic leaders have engaged with this issue, and at Native Americans in Philanthropy, we’ve been listening to our partners, colleagues, and collaborators about some of the greatest needs in this moment of solidarity.
EDUCATE YOURSELF ON THE TRUTH
The vast majority of Americans didn’t grow up learning about the tragedies of Indian boarding schools, but Native leaders and educators are seeking to change that so the full scope of the wrongs inflicted upon Tribal communities can be fully understood.
Boarding and residential schools were born out of the belief that Indigenous cultures were to blame for Native peoples’ refusal and/or inability to integrate into mainstream society. The thought was to “kill the Indian, save the man” by forcibly assimilating Native children. This process began with children separated from their families and communities against their will, then transporting them to faraway and isolated boarding and residential schools where all Indigenous cultural and religious practices were forbidden in order to convert them to Christianity.
Boarding and residential schools were infamous for their violent policies and practices. Examples of their brutality include forcing Christian or American names onto the children, cutting Indigenous children’s hair, withholding food and water, or using physical abuse as punishment, just to name a few.
Read the full article about U.S. Indian boarding schools at Native Americans in Philanthropy.
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