CARSON CITY, NV – May 13, 2022
The U.S. Department of Interior released an initial investigative report on the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, a comprehensive effort to address the troubled legacy of federal Indian boarding school policies, on Wednesday.
“I appreciate the care and dedication shown by the U.S. Department of Interior on this critical project. Tribal citizens in Nevada lived the harsh realities of these boarding schools, which were designed to forcefully assimilate young Native Americans by kidnapping them off from their families and culture,” said Governor Sisolak. “I want to apologize for the role the State played with this abhorrent policy. We are committed to supporting our families still experiencing impacts and raise awareness of this history.”
The first volume of the investigation found that from 1819 to 1969, there were 408 federal boarding schools across 37 states, with three sites in Nevada. It also identified marked or unmarked burial sites at approximately 53 different schools. As the investigation continues, the Department expects the number of identified burial sites to increase.
The three boarding schools in Nevada were: The Stewart Indian School in Carson City, Pyramid Lake Boarding and Day School in Nixon, and Western Shoshone Boarding School in Owyhee.
Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland announced the launch of “The Road to Healing” tour as part of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative. This year-long project will include travel across the country to allow survivors of the federal Indian boarding school system the opportunity to share their stories, help connect communities with trauma-informed support and facilitate collection of a permanent oral history.
Currently, the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum provides a place for healing for thousands of American Indians affected by federal boarding schools while outlining authentic stories and experiences of students who attended from 1890-1980. The Stewart Indian School was operated by the federal government for 90 years, and directly impacted at least 20,000 Native students not only from the Great Basin, but over 200 Tribal Nations in the west. Located at #1 Jacobsen Way in Carson City, the Cultural Center occupies what was once the school’s administrative building, and is open to the public, free of charge, Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Read more about the Department of Interior’s report HERE.