Indian boarding schools continued systematic genocide
By Brenda Norrell
GREEN BAY, Wisconsin -- The Tribunal on the Devastating Impacts of Boarding Schools began the second day with Jean Whitehorse, Dine' (Navajo) speaking on Native rights and the sterilization of Indian women.
Whitehorse said she went to the hospital in intense pain, and was asked to sign papers.
"Besides taking out my appendix, they sterilized me," said Whitehorse, of the sterilization carried out without her knowledge at Gallup Indian Hospital.
Whitehorse was one of many women in the United States who were the victims of the US government’s program of the sterilization of Native American women.
During the testimony on Thursday, the second day of the Boarding School Tribunal, Grand Chief Terry Nelson of the Southern Chiefs Organization of Canada testified.
Chief Nelson said he understands the psychology of abuse and control that was used on Indian children in boarding schools.
"In order to wipe out people, you have to dehumanize them."
"You have to take their children away from them," said Nelson, who is also vice chairman of the American Indian Movement.
Roxanna Banguis, Ed.D., Tlingit, Haida and Sechelt, said her mother told her that there were a lot of beatings in the boarding school in Sechelt B.C. When the school partially burned down, skeletons of babies were found in the walls.
"The sexual molesters, the predators, found a job where they can abuse children."
"The worst is the baby skeletons they found in those walls. We don't know if those were Native Americans, or from the nuns." She said the nuns were not celibate.
Native Americans described the beatings and sexual abuse from the staff, priests and nuns in Indian boarding schools in the United States and Canada that are operated by religious organizations, the US government and Canadian government. Those schools used shame, sexual abuse and beatings to degrade Native children. The abuse resulted in generations of trauma. Testimonies of abuse in boarding schools by children kidnapped from their families were also read into the record on Thursday, including the testimony of imprisoned activist Leonard Peltier who was stolen from his family as a child in North Dakota. The Tribunal continues on Friday and is being livestreamed by Earthcycles.