The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition

Structure

The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS) is a non-profit corporation, incorporated in June 2012 under the laws of the Navajo Nation.  The Coalition was formed to discuss and develop a national strategy to focus public attention and foster healing for the wrongs visited upon individuals, families, communities, American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal Nations by the Indian Boarding School policy of the United States.

Mission

The Mission of NABS is to work to ensure a meaningful and appropriate response from responsible agencies for those Native American individuals, families, and communities victimized by the United States’ federal policy of forced boarding school attendance and to secure redress from responsible institutions in order to support lasting and true community-directed healing.

Strategies

  • Engage inter-tribal organizations, tribal governments and communities in discussions and strategy sessions to assess impacts and  develop recommendations for next steps;
  • Encourage adoption of resolutions urging the US government to accept responsibility for its policy and the continuing inter-generational impacts, and to take meaningful steps to provide redress;
  • Approach Churches to accept responsibility for their roles, formally apologize and provide support, including funding, for the work of the Coalition and direct healing work carried out in communities;
  • Seek federal action to document and therefore validate boarding school abuses and their continuing impacts.  Such actions should be planned, designed, and carried out in collaboration with impacted Indigenous communities. The work plan should include taking testimony from boarding school survivors and others with adequate care available for those who need it when they revisit the trauma they have survived; gathering information from experts about inter-generational and historical trauma; taking recommendations from affected communities about what is needed to effectuate true community and Nation healing; raising public awareness and provide public education about US boarding school policies and their ongoing effects; and recommending and committing support for culturally-appropriate and community-led remedies with the full and effective participation of survivors, communities, and Tribal Nations.
  • Let All That is Indian Within You Die! Native American Rights Fund’s Legal Review, Summer/Fall 2013. This 11-page article details the history of the boarding school policy in the United States and the ongoing efforts of the  N-NABS-HC.
  • Boarding School Issues Tackled by Carol Berry, Indian Country Today,  May 17, 2011.  Coverage of the Boarding School Healing Symposium where NABS was founded.
  • Historical Boarding School Healing Symposium, May 20, 2011. University of Colorado Law School e-article on the  Symposium that provided a plan to move towards healing.

Purposes

  • To identify goals and agree on a strategy to secure a meaningful response from the US government, which may include an apology as well as redress for the Native American individuals, communities, tribal nations, pueblos and Alaskan Villages victimized in the past and present by the US Boarding School policies and practices, which constituted cultural genocide;
  • To help secure adequate resources to support healing in communities impacted by the policy;
  • To provide mechanisms for redress for individuals and/or communities who need or want that;
  • To provide mutual support and coordination for those working toward these goals;
  • To identify the needed social, psychological, health, language and cultural, legislative, legal, educational, media and funding resources necessary to carry such a strategy forward.