Indian Boarding Schools and White Supremacy

Washington, DC. The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) welcomed the release of the first volume of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative’s long-awaited investigative report. Assembled by the Department of the Interior, this report serves as historic documentation of the trauma inflicted by Indian boarding schools. It also underscores the need for further reckoning on this vital issue, both in Congress and in the Quaker and faith communities.

“This new report shines a much-needed light on the atrocities committed at Indian boarding schools, some of which were run by Quakers,” said FCNL General Secretary Bridget Moix. “We commend the Department of the Interior for doing this difficult work and we remain committed to doing our part to advance the reckoning and healing process for this dark chapter in American history.”

“Further, we call on the faith community at large to share records and accounts of their administration of these schools. Only through complete honesty and transparency can we begin moving towards a more just future,” she continued.

Quaker Lobby Welcomes Long-Awaited Report on Indian Boarding Schools by Alex Frandsen, May 12, 2022

Portia Kay^nthos Skenandore-Wheelock, is the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) Congressional Advocate, Native American Advocacy Program. She makes an important point when she writes about connecting boarding schools to broader practices of White supremacy. This is important for White Quakers to understand as we search for ways to support Indigenous peoples today.

The consequences of separating young children from their families and tribal homes, a curriculum of child labor, and punishments akin to those inflicted on prisoners of war are deeply felt within Indigenous communities to this day.

Further, beneath the cruel assimilation policy lies the true purpose of this government strategy: an effort to seize Native land. Federal records confirm that the creation of the federal Indian boarding school system coincided with land dispossession. An assimilation policy targeted at Native children was thought to be easier and less costly than war in separating tribes from their land. The schools would discourage tribal land and food practices and encourage western agricultural practices that require less land.

Another tactic was to encourage tribes to purchase goods on credit to support the western agricultural lifestyle. Thus, tribes would fall into debt and have no option but to cede lands to the U.S. for payment—those funds were then mostly used to fund the boarding school system.

Survivors left these institutions abused, in poor health, and without the language and cultural knowledge to connect with the homes they returned to.

A First Look at the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Report by Portia Kay^nthos Skenandore-Wheelock May 16, 2022

Separating Native children from their families continues today as social service agencies create excuses to remove them from their homes.

And there was the practice of separating children from their families at the southern border.

It is the ultimate manifestation of White Supremacy to violently and cruelly force anyone who is not white to abandon their culture, practices and beliefs, to assimilate into White culture.

Global White supremacy was codified in the Doctrine of Discovery

Doctrine of Discovery Factsheet

What is the Doctrine of Discovery? Why Should It Be Repudiated?

For thousands of years, Indigenous Peoples lived free in their territories in the Western Hemisphere. When European monarchies invasively arrived in the Western Hemisphere in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and later centuries, during the so-called Age of Discovery, they claimed the lands, territories, and resources of the Indigenous Peoples, asserting that the monarchies had a right to appropriate on behalf of Christendom. The monarchies’ claims of a Christian dominion (dominance) over Indigenous Peoples and their lands served them pragmatically to fend off competing monarchies and to de-legitimate the long-established autonomous indigenous peoples’ governments.

The Doctrine of Discovery is a key premise for non-Indigenous government claims to legitimacy on and sovereignty over Indigenous lands and territories. It is used in particular by former British colonies, specifically, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America.

(The fact sheet continues at the following link)

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