Montana’s legislature has passed a joint resolution recognizing the history of American Indian boarding schools and calling on the U.S. government to create a national day of remembrance.
Montana Public Radio’s Ellis Juhlin has more.
State Rep. Tyson Running Wolf (D-MT/Blackfeet Nation) sponsored the resolution in the House to officially acknowledge the trauma of boarding schools.
They suffered physical, sexual, cultural, spiritual abuse, and neglect – and experienced treatment that in many cases constitute torture.
For speaking their native language, many children never returned home, and their fates have yet to be accounted for by the U.S. government.
On the House floor Wednesday, Rep. Running Wolf read off a list of 13 children from tribes across Montana who died at the Fort Shaw Industrial Indian School, an hour east of Helena.
The school was opened between 1892 and 1910.
The youngest to attend the boarding school was four years old.
Senate Joint Resolution 6 passed with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.
In 2021, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland launched an investigation into the country’s past assimilation policies, which included the forced removal of Native American children from their families and tribes, placing them in Indian boarding schools.
That ongoing investigation found 18 boarding schools operated in Montana.
Gov. Tina Kotek (D-OR)’s stance on gaming is hypocritical, says the Coquille Indian Tribe.
The criticism follows a letter Gov. Kotek recently sent to the nine tribes located across the state.
KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.
In her letter, the governor writes that she does not favor the expansion of gaming, and therefore her policy maintains the status quo from previous administrations.
Gov. Kotek then highlights the Coquille Tribe’s application for an electronic bingo facility in Medford, and states her opposition to it.
That’s stirred up strong feelings and resentment among some who point to a broad array of state-sponsored gambling in Oregon.
Jon Ivy is Vice Chair of the Coquille Tribal Council.
“Truly, the Oregon Lottery is the biggest gaming institution in the state of Oregon. Maybe there’s some political gamesmanship going on here, when in fact it is frustrating and quite frankly, somewhat hurtful to the tribe.”
The tribe says Gov. Kotek has no authority over the matter and her stance perpetuates a mythical “one tribe, one casino” policy.
The Coquille Tribe has sought federal approval for a Medford gaming facility, which would be its second one outside the Mill Casino in North Bend.
Previous governors have not supported it, and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians – which runs the Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville – has also opposed it.
The governor’s office did not respond to KLCC’s request for comment.
A man with strong family ties to the Western Alaska village of Gambell has been recognized for his commitment and dedication to Native culture and identity.
KNOM’s Greg Knight reports.
Sam Schimmel, 23, is an Indigenous youth advocate who’s Siberian Yu’pik and Kenaitze.
He’ll soon graduate from law school.
Schimmel is the inaugural recipient of the Autumn Apok Ridley Award given by the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage.
He’s recognized for his work in supporting Indigenous culture and ways of life.
Schimmel says listening closely to elders as a youth, as he grew up in Gambell and on the Kenai Peninsula, was one of the most important touchstones in his life.
“They’re the ones who instilled in me the promise of reciprocity, that our communities are based on the idea that our elders will teach us how to live and how to be. In exchange, when we grow up, we will take care of our elders and we will pass down that knowledge onto our children so that they will take care of us.”
Schimmel received the award last week.
The heritage center’s inaugural community recognition included an elder award, which was given to the late Dr. Oliver Leavitt (Inupiaq).
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