And it only took 11 more days for Mrs. Haaland, one of the first indigenous peoples elected to the US Congress and President Joe Biden’s new Secretary of the Interior, to take matters into her own hands.
Managing the Investigation of Boarding School Deaths and the Lasting Consequences of Boarding Schools, the Minister of State for Internal Affairs wrote in a note last Tuesday.
Only by acknowledging the past can we work towards a future of which we can all be proud., she added.
Less than a month passed between the publication of this note by Mrs. Haaland and the announcement of the discovery of 215 unidentified graves in Kamloops, British Columbia. In geopolitical terms, less than a month is the blink of an eye.
In addition, news from Canada rarely has such a drastic and rapid impact on political affairs in the United States, a country whose indigenous people rarely make headlines.
However, the scale of this upcoming investigation could reveal just how much discoveries will be made on American soil.
There is awarenessChase Iron Eyes, a long-time Indigenous lawyer and activist involved in People’s Bill, headquartered in North Dakota.
They don’t teach this in schools, neither Canadian nor American, about the existence of mass graves of indigenous children on church-run and government-sponsored boarding school sites.
Now we cannot turn a blind eye to these facts.
Two distinct countries and one similar system
The similarities between Canadian and American Indian residential schools do not end there.
I think in terms of size, it is quite comparableقارنsaid Cyrus Sturm, a professor of anthropology who specializes in indigenous issues at the University of Texas at Austin.
By the turn of the century, after the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs took over from Christian missionaries, 147 day schools and 106 boarding schools were operating, according to Ms. Sturm.
By comparison, in Canada, it is estimated that as many as 130 boarding schools were operating from 1831 to 1996, and this does not include hundreds of day schools.
Either way, hundreds of thousands of children have passed through these institutions.
In Canada, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission estimates that at least 3,200 children died there. With the acceptance of the Canadian Minister of Aboriginal Services,
can be double.
Bilingual support line for residential school survivors in Canada: 1-866-925-4419
The survey launched by Deb Haaland in the United States will attempt to identify all the schools that were part of the programme, focusing on
Any records relating to cemeteries or potential burial sites that can then be used to locate unidentified human remains.
The department will also coordinate with Aboriginal communities in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, regarding the management of such cemeteries and prepare a final report by next April.
Drama that is more and more difficult to ignoreتجاهل
In Canada, the situation escalated further on Wednesday with the announcement of the discovery of 751 unmarked graves in Saskatchewan, near the site of the former Marival Boarding School.
The news generated extraordinary media interest in the United States, including making headlines in the United States Washington Post Friday and landing a full page in The New York Times.
If these graves are uncovered so Canadians realize how much work we have to do, it could be a springboard to do more.Justin Trudeau said at a news conference Friday morning.
Indigenous leaders are urging the Canadian prime minister to obtain an apology from the Catholic Church that Pope Francis himself penned on Canadian soil, which he has already demanded on several occasions, but without getting a response.
If US President Joe Biden joins him, the request could be hard to ignore.
I think Trudeau and Biden are stronger together than if they went alone. I really believe it, a soutenu chasing iron eyes.