Indian Boarding School Deaths and the Federal Tort Claims Act: A Route to a Remedy

By Claire Newfeld. 

Since their founding, the United States, Canadian, and other governments have purported to act as the “protectors” of Indigenous peoples. While modern federal Indian policy favors self-determination and the preservation of Native culture and land, the vast majority of pre-1960s “protective” policies interpreted the Native way of life as inferior and savage, aiming to forcibly assimilate Native communities into white American society. In a cruel example of this policy, these governments implemented a comprehensive “re-education” effort throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that forcibly removed Indigenous children from their tribal homes and placed them in boarding schools to become “Americanized.” 

In the summer of 2021, North America was forced to reckon with the cruelty and inhumanity of these efforts when at least 1,308 suspected graves containing Indigenous children were recovered from the sites of former boarding schools in Canada . . . Full Article.