Oct 9, 2015 - Seattle City Council to Vote on Resolution Acknowledging Historical Trauma Resulting from American Indian Boarding Schools


SEATTLE, WA – On October 12th, the Seattle City Council will vote on a resolution that addresses the historical and interrogational trauma stemming from the American Indian Boarding School policy during the 19th and 20th centuries.

In the late 1800’s, the U.S. government embarked on a ruthless campaign of forced assimilation in effort to solve its “Indian problem”.  The American Indian boarding schools, which were funded by the U.S. Government and run by Christian churches, were created by Captain Richard Pratt, whose motto was to “Kill the Indian and save the man.”

Over the course of the next 100 years, roughly 100,000 American Indian children ages 5-18 were stripped from their homes and placed in remote boarding schools. Native languages, spirituality and customs were outlawed, physical and sexual violence was rampant.

The supposed goal [of the boarding schools] was to ‘Kill the Indian, save the man,’ which is tantamount to cultural genocide.  The new resolution will give City officials the opportunity to acknowledge and help heal the deep wounds opened up by the Boarding School Policy. It is also another step towards getting the City to take real action to address the poverty, oppression, and marginalization that the community faces to this day.” ~Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant

The American Indian Boarding Resolution was drafted by Matt Remle (author of Seattle’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day resolution) with support from Gabe Galanda, Tracy Rector, the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, the Native American Rights Fund and other members from Seattle’s Native community and sponsored by council member Kshama Sawant.

Res 31621: A RESOLUTION relating to the acknowledgment of the various harms and ongoing historical and inter-generational traumas impacting American Indian, First Nations, and Alaskan Natives for the forcible removal of Indian children and subsequent abuse and neglect resulting from the United States’ American Indian Boarding School Policy during the 19th & 20th Centuries; supporting American Indian and Alaskan Native communities’ efforts in calling on the United States Congress to commission a study and report on the United States’ responsibility and role in adopting and implementing an American Indian Boarding School Policy; and committing to work with the local American Indian and Alaskan Natives in efforts of reconciliation in addressing the impacts of historical trauma, language and cultural loss, and alleged genocide.

The resolution vote will take place on Seattle’s Second Annual Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration, which will also feature a rally and march to Seattle City Hall, cultural performances and keynote speech by Winona LaDuke at Seattle City Hall, and an evening celebration at Seattle’s historic Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center.

The American Indian Boarding School Acknowledgment Resolution is supported/endorsed by:

Seattle Human Rights Commission
National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition
United Indians of All Tribes
Seattle Indian Health Board
Native American Rights Fund
Chief Seattle Club
Idle No More WA
Last Real Indians
Peoples Institute Northwest
Youth Undoing Institutional Racism
American Friends Services Committee – Race and Justice Program
El Centro de la Raza
Native American Women’s Dialog on Infant Morality
Northwest Two Spirit Society
Washington Indian Civil Rights Commission
Long House Media

For more information contact:
Matt Remle 206 639-3610 or mcremle@hotmail.com

Last Real Indians