US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, first Native American cabinet secretary, set in motion an investigation into the history of federal boarding schools that were used to strip away native cultures from indigenous children. The state of Colorado followed up this initiative by funding a one-year research project into the boarding schools in their state. The project was headed by State Archaeologist Holly Norton. It covered the years 1880-1920, and consisted largely of documents research. The cutoff date of 1920 was chosen to preserve the privacy of victims of the schools beyond that date. Research found both abuse and resistance. Jerilyn DeCoteau, attorney and co-founder of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, commended the research work and the sensitivity. She talked about the founding of the healing coalition and their plans. They have received a grant to begin collecting oral histories.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland; Colorado’s state archaeologist Holly Norton; Jerilyn DeCoteau, attorney and co-founder of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition
Credits: Interviews, production and narration by Shannon Young. Additional audio from the US Department of the Interior. Music recorded live with permission by Shannon Young. WINGS series producer, Frieda Werden.