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Support Info: If you are a Survivor and need emotional support, a national crisis line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: Residential School Survivor Support Line: 1-866-925-4419. Additional Health Support Information: Emotional, cultural, and professional support services are also available to Survivors and their families through the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program. Services can be accessed on an individual, family, or group basis.” These & regional support phone numbers are found at https://nctr.ca/contact/survivors/ .

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Monday, July 11, 2022

‘I will never forgive this school for what they did to me'

Donald Neconie, 84, Kiowa, testifed on Saturday, July 9, 2022, as part of the U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland's Road to Healing tour of the brutality he suffered while attending Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Oklahoma, in the 1940s. Haaland, Laguna Pueblo and the first Indigenous person to sit in a presidential cabinet, kicked off the yearlong tour in Anadarko to hear testimony from survivors and descendants of Indian boarding schools. (Photo by Mary Annette Pember/ICT)
Donald Neconie, 84, Kiowa, testifed on Saturday, July 9, 2022, as part of the U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland's Road to Healing tour of the brutality he suffered while attending Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Oklahoma, in the 1940s. Haaland, Laguna Pueblo and the first Indigenous person to sit in a presidential cabinet, kicked off the yearlong tour in Anadarko to hear testimony from survivors and descendants of Indian boarding schools. (Photo by Mary Annette Pember/ICT)

Road to Healing: Deb Haaland pledges boarding school truths will be uncovered

WARNING: This story has disturbing details about residential and boarding schools. If you are feeling triggered, here is a resource list for trauma responses from the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition in the US. The National Indian Residential School Crisis Hotline in Canada can be reached at 1-866-925-4419.

Mary Annette Pember |  ICT

ANADARKO, Oklahoma — A journey like no other began at last Saturday for survivors of U.S. Indian boarding schools.

Young and old, descendants and survivors, crowded into the gymnasium of Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Oklahoma, to share their experiences as the kickoff to U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s Road to Healing tour.

Until now, former boarding school students were largely ignored, forced to survive brutality and separation from family, culture and language, and deal with childhood traumas as best they could.

Finally, the world is listening.

“I still feel that pain,” said Donald Neconie, 84, Kiowa, who attended Riverside school in the 1940s.

Neconie, a former U.S. Marine, described physical and sexual abuse at the hands of school employees. School leaders knew of the abuse but did nothing to stop it, he said.

“You couldn’t cry or tell anyone, because if you did, you knew it would be worse,” he said. “I will never forgive this school for what they did to me.”

KEEP READING 

Related stories:
US boarding school investigative report released
Native leaders push for boarding school commission
215 bodies found at residential school in Canada
A Mother's Pray: Bring the children home

 

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Canada's Residential Schools

The religious organizations that operated the schools — the Anglican Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada, United Church of Canada, Jesuits of English Canada and some Catholic groups — in 2015 expressed regret for the “well-documented” abuses. The Catholic Church has never offered an official apology, something that Trudeau and others have repeatedly called for.

no arrests?

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Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

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Did you know?

New York’s 4o-year battle for OBC access ended when on January 15 2020, OBCs were opened to all New York adoptees upon request without restriction. In only three days, over 3,600 adoptees filed for their record of birth. The bill that unsealed records was passed 196-12.

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As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.

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Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab

Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

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