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Mohegan Tribe Applauds U.S. Department of the Interior on Release of Federal Indian Boarding School Investigative Report

Uncasville, CT —Upon release of volume 1 of a new investigative report on the federal Indian boarding school policies, the Mohegan Tribe today applauded Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland for the thorough and transparent nature of their work. The report, which was called for as part of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, accounts the harmful legacy federal Indian boarding schools created in part as a key tool to dispossess tribes of their lands and it outlines next steps the Department will take in their continued efforts to address the intergenerational trauma caused by these schools.

“While this report forces us to relive a dark part of our shared history, it is vitally important that America shed light on these tragedies, so that we can learn from them and institute new practices and policies to lift up indigenous communities,” said Mohegan Tribal Chairman James Gessner Jr. “We are grateful to Secretary Haaland, Assistant Secretary Newland, and the Department of the Interior for conducting this investigative report in a transparent and forthright manner. We will continue to work with the Department of the Interior to heal our community and preserve our language, traditions, and culture for generations to come. We are also grateful for the continued support from Connecticut Congressional delegation, and their approval of critical investments in this initiative.”

The investigation identified marked and unmarked burial sites at approximately 53 different schools, a number that is likely to rise at the investigation continues. The report also accounted the multitude of ways that the federal Indian boarding school system forced children to assimilate and abandon their identities, such as cutting children’s hair, forbidding use of native languages, renaming Indian children with English names, and forcing them to perform military drills.

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