NEWS GLEAMS | ‘Road for Healing’ Tour Addresses Indian Boarding Schools; Leadership Program Invites Latinx Youth

A roundup of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

curated by Vee Hua 華婷婷

✨Gleaming This Week✨

‘Road to Healing’ Tour Discusses Boarding Schools Nationwide

On Sunday, April 23, on the sixth stop of her “Road to Healing” Tour around the country, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland (Bay Mills Indian Community) visited the Tulalip Tribe’s gathering hall to acknowledge and discuss the era of boarding schools nationwide, from 1819 to as late as 1969. Of the 408 schools which operated nationwide, Washington State had 15 locations throughout the state. None were within Seattle city limits, but two were as close as Federal Way, one was in Tacoma, and one was in Olympia.

“Federal Indian boarding school policies have touched every Indigenous person I know,” said Haaland, according to reporting from the Yakima Herald-Republic. “Some are survivors, some are descendants, but we all carry this painful legacy in our hearts. … My ancestors and many of yours endured the horrors of Indian boarding school assimilation policies carried out by the same department that I now lead.”

Federal boarding schools — similar to residential schools in Canada, which the Canadian government recently has begun to address through 2007’s passage of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement — arose following the Indian Civilization Act of 1819. The policy established boarding schools across the country which forcibly took children away from their families and them into often distant schooling facilities which were encouraged to “kill the Indian, and save the man.” Boarding schools have resulted in a well-documented legacy of trauma and loss of culture within a generation of students whose culture was devastated and suppressed.

Recapping the events of the day, the Yakima Herald-Republic also notes, “The people, from Lummi, Suquamish, Yakama, and beyond, shared stories of students’ mouths being washed out with soap until they cracked and bled for speaking their native language, of school leaders whipping them with ropes and belts, of sexual abuse, and of intentionally breaking the rules so they would be thrown out of school and freed from the abuse.” Citizens who were present appreciated the visit by Halaand and Newland, but many desired a public apology from the federal government.

The Interior Department also houses the Bureau of Land Management — which oversees many Native sites — and the Department of Indian Affairs. Haaland is the first Native American to hold the office and has helped spark a deeper level of recognition around the history of boarding schools in the U.S. She announced the Federal Boarding School Initiative in 2021. According to the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report published in May 2022, goals of the Initiative include: “identifying Federal Indian boarding school facilities and sites; identifying names and Tribal identities of Indian children who were placed in Federal Indian boarding schools; identifying locations of marked and unmarked burial sites of remains of Indian children located at or near school facilities; and incorporating Tribal and individual viewpoints, including those of descendants, on the experiences in, and impacts of, the Federal Indian boarding school system.”

The 2022 report identified 15 boarding schools that were established in Washington State, which are the following:

  • Chehalis Boarding and Day School in Oakville.
  • Colville Mission School in Kettle Falls.
  • Cushman Indian School in Tacoma.
  • Fort Simcoe Indian Boarding School in White Swan.
  • Fort Spokane Boarding School in Davenport.
  • Neah Bay Boarding and Day School in Neah Bay.
  • Puyallup Indian School in Squaxin Island.
  • Quinaielt Boarding and Day School in Taholah.
  • S’Kokomish Boarding and Day School in Olympia.
  • St. George Indian Residential School in Federal Way.
  • St. Joseph’s Boarding School in Federal Way.
  • Paschal Sherman Indian School in Omak.
  • Tonasket Boarding School in Tonasket.
  • Tulalip Indian Industrial School in Tulalip Bay.
  • Tulalip Mission School in Priest’s Point.

Flier courtesy of Alianza.

Leadership Program Invites Latinx Youth Leaders to Network Virtually Across Washington State

In a series of ongoing virtual meetings which take place late afternoons on Mondays from April to June 2023, Alianza is recruiting young leaders to network across Washington State. Their seven-week leadership program is designed to create leadership hubs that compensate participants, ages 18 to 24, to bring positive change in their community while getting compensated for their time and work. The meetings offer opportunities for them to meet with Latinx and BIPOC leaders statewide and learn about other leadership opportunities, in Alianza’s first steps towards creating a statewide initiative this summer.

Undocumented youth are highly encouraged to apply and participate.

Alianza Youth Leadership Program is an initiative of the Latino Community Fund. According to its website, “through community organizing and training, Alianza aims to build the leadership of Latinx youth by providing them with a platform and resources to do so.”

Meetings take place on Mondays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., from April to June 2023. Those who are interested can sign up at or scan the QR code on the flyer.

Aerial photograph depicting the Duwamish River and the Greater Duwamish.
Aerial image over the Duwamish River and Greater Duwamish. (Photo: Alex Garland)

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