Mark September 30 as a National Day of Remembrance for U.S. Indian Boarding Schools. The Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition encourages Native communities, as well as non-Native allies, to hold healing-informed events honoring boarding school survivors and call for accountability of the Federal Indian Boarding School policies. There are also several other things we can do – or begin – on that day of remembrance:
- Find and peruse the website of the Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition – especially the part that issues a call to churches for healing action.
- Advocate in support of a U.S. Truth and Healing Commission on Boarding School Policy to examine the intergenerational trauma and impact of this federal government policy and program. In the U.S., contact your Representative and Senators to support the 2021 version of this legislation.
- Learn and teach about the policy and history of the boarding schools in the U.S. and Canada. Resources here and on the website of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition.
- Learn about boarding schools in your part of the country, and those that were operated or supported by Quakers or by a faith group with which you affiliate. (See list of schools here.)
- Propose and support a public statement by your local meeting or congregation, or by regional or national bodies within your faith denomination, to acknowledge the role of Christian churches in sponsoring and operating these boarding schools.
- Explore an apology that arises within you from these studies. Consider how such an apology could be offered and might be received by people affected directly by the boarding schools, and by their descendants.
- Learn where the harm can be mended or mitigated. Donate to support tribally-controlled education, language restoration programs, and scholarships for youth who are descendants of boarding schools survivors.