Indian boarding school survivors and families meet with US Interior Secretary
The Department of Interior made a stop in New Mexico to meet with survivors of the federal Indian boarding school system.
Stories of pain and healing filled the ballroom Sunday morning at the Isleta Resort and Casino.
It was the 11th stop for Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Bryan Newland, her assistant secretary, on their cross-country Road to Healing Tour.
“Federal Indian boarding school policies have impacted every Indigenous person I know,” Haaland said. “Some are survivors some are descendants but we all carry this painful legacy in our hearts.”
In New Mexico alone, there were at least 43 boarding schools.
“Just reviewing federal records isn’t going to tell the whole story of the federal boarding school system,” Newland said. “That is why we need to hear from you and people about their families and their individual experiences.”
The Road to Healing Tour holds space for survivors and families to tell their stories with the goal of providing trauma-informed mental health support.
After the tour, the Department of the Interior will focus on identifying marked and unmarked burial sites. They will also connect survivors and their families with follow-up support.