At Least 500 Deaths Uncovered at Schools for Native American Children

    Photo: MediaNews Group/Getty Images [via Buzzfeed News]

    The Facts

    • A report from the US Dept. of the Interior has found that over 500 students died while attending one of 408 federally-supported boarding schools for Native American, Alaskan and Hawaiian children.

    • The schools aimed to assimilate Indigenous children and operated between 1819 and 1969.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    This report marks an important step in reorientating federal policy to counteract past horrors. The federal government has revealed and is taking responsibility for how cultural erasure and the forced assimilation into white culture has continued to affect indigenous communities. This will provide a valuable roadmap towards healing.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    This is too little, too late. Unlike in Canada, the US government has never acknowledged how many children attended these schools that facilitated rampant physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. The federal government has sidestepped accountability for decades by failing to declare how many children died or went missing or, even, how many of these institutions existed. A formal apology and reparations are long overdue.

    Establishment split



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