OSAGE NATION CHIEF GEOFFREY STANDING BEAR ISSUES STATEMENT ON HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AGAINST INDIGENOUS CHILDREN AT BOARDING SCHOOLS
OSAGE RESERVATION, OKLA. (Monday, June 28, 2021) - The discovery of mass graves on Canadian boarding school grounds is deeply upsetting. No school should be allowed to take responsibility for the lives of children then keep them in cruel captivity. It is a proven and sad fact that Canadian and United States policies discouraged and even prohibited the practices of our ancient cultures. Forcibly changing a child to erase their culture and history is pure bigotry. As these children’s graves are found by the First Nations of Canada, we should not forget this also happened to many Native Americans. It seems the indigenous peoples of the countries in the world today have a long-lasting struggle to exist as a distinct people.
Aborigine people from Australia have told me of a similar history with their people. I have to wonder what is currently happening to the Uyghurs children in China or the children held in U.S. immigration camps. The horrors being revealed today at the Canadian boarding schools does not mean all schools among the Native American were the end of the trail for all of our youth. It is historical fact that many schools in the 19th and 20th centuries provided a nurturing educational and living experience to the Native American. These were the fortunate ones.
Our mission today is to bring our children into the protection of the schools, who we demand provide a healthy loving environment to sustain the mental, social, and physical growth of children. This policy of goodness towards the children can give them hope for their future. This policy should not be only for the Native American or the First Nations of Canada, but for all of the countries of the world.
- Osage Nation Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear