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Secretary Haaland to visit Riverside Indian School in Anadarko

Deb Haaland
Rogelio V. Solis
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland speaks with reporters while standing outside the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument in Jackson, Miss., on Feb. 15, 2022.

Oklahoma had the highest concentration of federally run Indian boarding schools according to a report released by the Department of Interior. The state is the first stop in the Road to Healing Tour.

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland will be at Riverside Indian School in Anadarko Saturday for the listening session. That follows the release of a sweeping report detailing the federal government's role and complicity in stripping Indigenous children of their culture and heritage in order to dispossess them of their land.

Haaland testified in front of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs last month on the need for federal legislation for a commission that would look into federally run Indian boarding schools.

"The consequences of federal Indian boarding school policies were inflicted on generations of children, some as young as four. As the head of the Department of the Interior and as the first Native American Cabinet secretary, I am in a unique position to address the lasting impacts of these policies," said Haaland.

Counselors will be on hand for survivors dealing with remembering the trauma of boarding schools during this weekend’s listening session. Later events are planned in Alaska and Hawaii.

This report was produced by the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange, a collaboration of public media organizations. Help support collaborative journalism by donating at the link at the top of this webpage.

Allison Herrera is a radio and print journalist who's worked for PRX's The World, Colorado Public Radio as the climate and environment editor and as a freelance reporter for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs desk.
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