/ Modified oct 24, 2019 9:28 a.m.

Navajo commission to assess school abuse

The commission wants to hear about abuse by school personnel and assess what remains from historical mistreatment.

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FLAGSTAFF — The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission will be holding several public hearings to assess the mistreatment of Native Americans in schools on and off the reservation.

The commission wants parents, guardians and students in kindergarten through 12th grade to speak out about any mistreatment they have received from school personnel. Signed written testimony also will be accepted.

For several decades, teachers abused Native American children at federally run boarding schools for speaking their language or singing their songs.

The schools were part of the government’s attempt to assimilate American Indians. The commission plans to assess what mistreatment remains from that era and, where necessary, remedy the situation.

The tribe has set the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as its threshold.

The hearings start this week in Crown Point and Window Rock. More will be announced for 2020.

Fronteras Desk
This story is from the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration of Southwestern public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Fronteras Desk.
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