Albuquerque memorial to honor burial ground at 4-H Park

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – It is unknown how many children, staff and community members have been laid to rest at the Albuquerque Indian School cemetery.

The city wants to properly honor their lives and is working on turning the sacred site at 4-H Park into a memorial.

From 1882 to 1933, the cemetery was just minutes away from Albuquerque Indian School, a place where children – who were forcibly removed from their homes and families – were stripped of their language, culture and identity.

"Unfortunately, while a lot of these children at boarding schools, they passed away due to many circumstances, whether it was disease, illness, trauma, or any other unknown causes,” said Dawn Begay, CABQ Native American Affairs Coordinator.

As the city moves forward with plans to convert the park into a memorial, officials are searching for answers.

"Due to lost, damaged records, we have limited information about the identities of the children, staff, or community members who passed away and maybe buried at the Albuquerque Indian School cemetery,” said Begay.

They want to know who these children were and learn more about the loved ones they left behind.

"Every child or person that died, and may be buried, there is a person who didn’t return home,” Begay said.

So the city is asking anyone with any information on those who passed and are buried here to share it.

"Any part of research that they may have been a part of, so that we can help fill in the missing pieces, but also share how this part of history has impacted them and their relatives. We also want to make sure that this doesn’t happen again, or the erasure of history doesn’t happen again."

For more information on the AIS cemetery at 4-H Park and city-held events, click here.