At least 500 Red Indian (Native American) kids died in schools
Native Americans celebrate their heritage and culture at a PowWow presented by the Redhawk Native American Arts Council at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in New Jersey, the US on July 13, 2009. Photos: VCG More than 500 Native American children died in US government-run boarding schools at which students were physically abused and denied food, a report from the Department of the Interior said Wednesday.
“Approximately 19 Federal Indian boarding schools accounted for over 500 American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian child deaths,” said the report, which followed an investigation ordered after similar abuses in Canada sparked widespread outrage in 2021’s summer.
There are marked or unmarked burial sites at more than 50 locations, out of a total of more than 400 that made up the Federal Indian boarding school system between 1819 and 1969, according to the report.
It describes abusive punishments imposed at the schools, but does not specifically link them to the deaths.
“Federal Indian boarding school rules were often enforced through punishment, including corporal punishment such as solitary confinement; flogging; withholding food; whipping; slapping; and cuffing. The Federal Indian boarding school system at times made older Indian children punish younger Indian children,” the report said.
Children in the boarding school system were not only abused, but taught skills that ill-prepared them for life after graduation.
The system “focused on manual labor and vocational skills that left American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian graduates with employment options often irrelevant to the industrial US economy, further disrupting Tribal economies,” the report said.