Senator Warren Revives Indian Boarding School Legislation with Bipartisan Support


Morning procession at the Mt. Pleasant Indian Boarding School (Photo: Clarke Historical Library | CMU)

A bipartisan group of 27 US Senators has reintroduced legislation to investigate the federal government's centuries-long Indian boarding school policies, which led to the attempted termination and assimilation of Native Americans from 1819 through the 1960s.

The bill, called the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies in the United States, was introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), with support from 26 mostly Democratic senators. Co-sponsors include the leaders of the Senate's powerful Indian Affairs Committee, including Chairman Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Vice Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Murkowski is the only Republican signatory to the bill, which was also co-sponsored by Independent Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ).

"The Indian Boarding School Policies are a stain on America's history, and it's long overdue that the federal government reckon with its legacy of causing unimaginable suffering and trauma for survivors, victims, and the thousands of Native families who remain impacted," Warren told Native News Online. "This is why I'm reintroducing legislation to establish a Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies that would investigate the federal government's shameful actions to terminate the cultures, religions, and languages of Native communities and respond to the intergenerational trauma impacting tribal communities today."


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