Thursday, February 27, 2014

Interested in the history of boarding schools? Check out our latest issue of the NARF Legal Review.

Photo credit: “Carlisle Indian Industrial School Portrait of Timber Yellow Robe, Henry Standing Bear and Wounded Yellow Robe, image NAA INV 00606600 National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.”

Are you interested in learning more about the history of religious and government boarding schools?  Beginning in the mid-1800s and continuing into the 1950s, Native American children were forcibly abducted from their homes and put into Christian- and government-run boarding schools.  This was done pursuant to a federal policy designed to “civilize” Indians and to stamp out Native cultures—a deliberate policy of cultural genocide.  The negative impacts of the cultural genocide persist today, manifest in the rampant alcoholism, drug abuse and domestic violence that plague Indian country.  The Native American Rights Fund is excited and proud to be part of a coalition in a groundbreaking effort to start our Native nations on a path toward healing from the boarding school policy.  View our latest issue of the NARF Legal Review here to read about the history of the boarding school era and outlines NARF’s efforts to secure justice and healing for the multi-generational victims. 

This issue also highlights recent work of the Tribal Supreme Court Project.  The Project was formed by tribal leaders in 2001 in response to a series of U.S. Supreme Court cases that negatively affected tribal sovereignty.  The Project promotes coordination and improved strategy on litigation that may affect the rights of all tribes.  It is jointly operated by the Native American Rights Fund and the National Congress of American Indians.

As these articles highlight, the need in Indian country for creative legal assistance to enable Indian tribes, as sovereign governments, to retain control over their resources and their destiny will continue.  We invite you to share your thoughts with us regarding the best ways for NARF to meet your legal needs.  Please feel free to call our Executive Director, John E. Echohawk—or our Board members or staff attorneys—with suggestions or questions of any kind.

Your steadfast support and loyalty makes NARF's work on behalf of this country’s Native Americans possible.  With your support we can continue to use that momentum to open doors to economic and political opportunities that have never before been available to our people.

From all of us at NARF, thank you very much for your commitment to Native American issues.