ONEIDA, Wisconsin (CBS 58) – Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed an executive order issuing official recognition and apology for Wisconsin’s historic role in residential schools on Monday, October 11, Indigenous Peoples Day.
The governor’s order, Executive Order No. 136, also includes an official statement of support for the US Department of the Interior investigation announced earlier this year and calling for any investigation in the state to be undertaken in consultation with officials. native nations of Wisconsin.
The announcement comes as earlier this year the remains of more than 1,300 students were discovered in Canada at residential school sites.
“As a state, we share the responsibility of recognizing the pain inflicted on tribal communities historically and even today. We also have a moral obligation to seek the truth and bring to light these injustices in Wisconsin and across our country, because this understanding and recognition is essential to accountability and healing, ”Governor Evers said. “We recognize the trauma inflicted on Indigenous families and communities and the loss of language, culture and identity and the intergenerational effects that these facilities have had and still have while honoring the resilience and contributions of Indigenous peoples. to our state and our country. “
For more than a century, between the 1860s and the 1970s, officials claim that the U.S. federal government instigated and coerced thousands of Native American children out of their families and homes, placing them in boarding schools funded by government and run by government and religious organizations. According to a press release, the residential schools sought to force assimilation of Native American children by isolating them from their cultural identity, punishing them for speaking their mother tongue or practicing their traditions, prohibiting them from wearing traditional clothing and forcing children to cut their hair. .
Records indicate there were at least 10 days and boarding schools were operating in Wisconsin where thousands of children attended, while hundreds of Wisconsin children were sent to out-of-state boarding schools , according to officials.
Monday marks the third time that Wisconsin has celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day, first recognized in 2019 when Evers signed Executive Order No. 50 to recognize this day every year on the second Monday in October.
Wisconsin is home to 11 federally recognized Indigenous nations and one nation not recognized by the federal government.