California Assembly Member Supports Residential School Inquiry

The nationwide investigation, announced on June 22 by Home Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American to serve as cabinet secretary, came after more than 1,000 human remains were found in human remains. residential schools across Canada, which sparked fury against the bloody colonial past and the mistreatment of Indigenous peoples.

It is estimated that 150,000 Indigenous children across Canada were taken from their homes and forced to attend residential schools between the 1890s and as recently as 1996, in which more than 50,000 died of abuse.

Ten of the more than 350 Indian Residential Schools investigated in the United States were located in California, including Sherman Indian High School in Riverside County and St. Boniface Indian Industrial School in Banning, County. of San Bernardino.

These boarding schools were built as an extension of the Catholic mission system, according to the local San Bernardino Sun newspaper.

The federal government funded and supervised the schools, and the Catholic Church operated them as a way to subjugate and culturally assimilate Indigenous children by forcibly removing them from their families and suppressing their Native American identities, languages, and beliefs, Alaskan and Hawaiian natives.

Sherman is one of only four Indian residential schools in the country still operated by the federal government.

The other three are found separately in Oregon, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

Saint-Boniface was built in 1890 and the buildings were demolished by the City of Banning in 1974, according to the Banning Library District document.

The bricks were made by Chinese workers and the actual construction of the school buildings was carried out by Indian students.

A Los Angeles Herald file published on May 9, 1892 stated that the school was “built for the purpose of educating the children of the 3,000 Indians at the mission.”

Over 100 Indian children were enrolled in the first year, and 123 in 1891.

These “happy children, young and old, of the red race, living in the spacious rooms of the school, eager to learn and to follow the instructions of the Good Sisters of Saint Joseph,” the report said at the time.

However, Ramos described a different story to the San Bernardino Sun.

“Those of us who grew up on Indian reservations have heard of Saint-Boniface. My grandmother was sent to Boniface. They were forbidden to speak their language and practice their culture. It’s a dark part of the story.

He said Aboriginal people have long associated the purpose of residential schools with an infamous quote from Richard Henry Pratt: “Kill the Indian, save the man.

Pratt was an American brigadier general and founder of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania.

Along with Ramos, other tribal chiefs in Southern California praised the investigation, noting that many Indigenous children have died from work-related illnesses and accidents, and that extreme physical and sexual abuse does not occur. had not been excluded.

Anthony Morales, president of the Gabrieleno San Gabriel Mission Indian Band, told the local newspaper that approximately 6,000 indigenous people from his tribe and others nationwide have been buried in and around the San Mission. Gabriel.

“Our children were not prepared to go. They didn’t want to go. They were forcibly taken away,” Morales said.

“The treatment, the condition inflicted on our children, was horrible.”


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