Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior published Volume 1 of the investigative report called for as part of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative – a comprehensive effort to address the legacy of federal Indian Boarding School Policies.  

The investigation found that from 1819 to 1969, the federal Indian boarding school system consisted of 408 federal schools across 37 states or then territories, including one located in Tomah, Wisconsin.  

“The federal Indian Boarding School Policies caused unimaginable pain and suffering and its impacts have been deeply felt for generations,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “Fully investigating, documenting, and acknowledging the atrocities committed against Native American children and families under these policies and the role the federal government played is long overdue. It’s my hope that the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative will continue to shed light on this dark chapter in our history and help support healing for communities here in Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District and beyond.”

This investigative report is a significant step to help comprehensively address the facts and consequences of federal Indian Boarding School Policies—implemented for more than a century and a half—resulting in the twin goals of cultural assimilation and territorial dispossession of Indigenous peoples through the forced removal and relocation of their children.  

It outlines the next steps that will be taken in a second volume and reflects an extensive and first-ever inventory of federally operated schools, including profiles and mapsThe investigation identified marked or unmarked burial sites at approximately 53 different schools across the school system. As the investigation continues, the Department expects the number of identified burial sites to increase.

Read Volume 1 of the investigative report here. 

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