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The Department of the Interior announced Friday that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland (Bay Mills Indian Community) will travel to Mille Lacs County, Minnesota on Saturday, June 3, 2023 for the seventh stop on “The Road to Healing” tour.

The visit is part of a yearlong tour across the country that provides Native American survivors of Indian boarding schools and their descendants an opportunity to share their experiences.

Minnesota hosted at least 16 federal Indian boarding schools, according to the Interior’s 2022 investigative report listing 408 federally supported boarding schools. The report was one outcome from the Interior’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative to shed light on the troubled history of Federal Indian boarding school policies and their legacy. Following the publication of  Volume 1 of the department’s investigative report last May, Haaland announced the “Road to Healing” initiative to collect oral histories—with trauma-informed support— from impacted Native communities.

Previous stops for The Road to Healing tour include Native American communities in Anadarko,Oklahoma; Pellston, Michigan; the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota; the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona; Many Farms, Arizona on the Navajo Nation; and the Tulalip Reservation in Washington.

Native News Online will be onsite for the June 3 event as part of its ongoing reporting project on Indian boarding schools and their effects on Native American families and communities.   

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These stories must be heard.

This May, we are highlighting our coverage of Indian boarding schools and their generational impact on Native families and Native communities. Giving survivors of boarding schools and their descendants the opportunity to share their stories is an important step toward healing — not just because they are speaking, but because they are being heard. Their stories must be heard. Help our efforts to make sure Native stories and Native voices are heard in 2024. Please consider a recurring donation to help fund our ongoing coverage of Indian boarding schools. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Jenna Kunze
Author: Jenna KunzeEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Senior Reporter
Jenna Kunze is a staff reporter covering Indian health, the environment and breaking news for Native News Online. She is also the lead reporter on stories related to Indian boarding schools and repatriation. Her bylines have appeared in The Arctic Sounder, High Country News, Indian Country Today, Tribal Business News, Smithsonian Magazine, Elle and Anchorage Daily News. Kunze is based in New York.