Update: 500 Native American boarding school deaths so far

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – A new federal study shows the U.S. government supported more than 400 Native American boarding schools aimed at assimilating Native children.

The Interior Department’s findings released Wednesday expanded the number of schools known to have operated. It also said nearly 20 of the schools accounted for over 500 child deaths.

So far, more than 50 burial sites at or near the schools have been identified, not all with marked graves. That number is expected to grow as the research continues.

The boarding schools have a dark history of children being taken from their families and prohibited from speaking their languages.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced last year that her agency would investigate their legacy and uncover the truth about the government’s role in them.

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