US report details church-state collusion on Native schools

A new Interior Department report underscores how closely the U.S. government collaborated with churches in operating boarding schools for Indigenous children.

The federal government saw churches as useful in Christianizing Native children as part of a project to sever them from their culture, their identities and ultimately their land.

The role of churches forms part of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report, released Wednesday after a yearlong review that found Indigenous children were sent to at least 408 schools from 1819 to 1969. Catholic and Protestant church groups ran many of the schools.

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