Albuquerque resolution recognizes residential school trauma | Region

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) – Albuquerque City Council has passed a resolution that recognizes the lingering generational trauma caused by US residential school policies and formalizes a commitment to work with Indigenous communities toward reconciliation and healing .

Councilors voted in favor of measure at a meeting on Monday. Mayor Tim Keller is expected to sign the resolution on Indigenous Peoples Day.

The city has researched the history of a public park where the students of the old Indian school in Albuquerque would have been buried over a century ago. Ground penetrating radar will be used to survey the site and another meeting was scheduled for later this week to discuss how to keep moving forward.

“It’s really kind of a first step for us as a city to move forward towards healing and also to be inclusive of all of our communities in Albuquerque and to understand some of the pain that people are having. have lived over the years without knowing, ”said Board Chair Cynthia Borrego at the virtual meeting.

Indigenous activists expressed concern earlier this year when a commemorative plaque of the students of the old missing school. They established a makeshift memorial of flowers and other offerings and demanded an investigation.

Nationally, the US Home Office is in the midst of its own investigation. The agency announced last week that it would begin tribal consultations as the next step in its examination of the residential school legacy. The comments will help lay the groundwork for future work to protect potential burial sites and other sensitive information.

“Tribal consultations are at the heart of this long and painful process to address the intergenerational trauma of residential schools and shed light on the truth in a way that honors those we have lost and those who continue to suffer trauma.” , Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement.

In Albuquerque, orange flags have been placed in the city park to signify the significance of the site as more permanent plans are made. Orange is the color used to symbolize the movement that raises awareness of the troubled legacy of the residential school system that sought to assimilate Indigenous youth into white society for many decades.

The Albuquerque Indian School was founded in 1881 by the Presbyterian Church and came under federal control a few years later. The school closed in the 1980s and ownership was turned over to the 19 pueblos of New Mexico. The buildings were eventually demolished and a tribal development company worked to turn it into a mall.

The park is several blocks away. Only part of it is believed to contain human remains, and city officials have said investigative work done decades ago during a road construction project is the only maps they have that detail the boundaries of the old school cemetery.

Dawn Begay, the town’s tribal affairs coordinator, told Monday’s meeting that research at the site so far has determined that Navajo, Apache and Pueblo students as well as tribal students in Arizona were probably buried at the site. She noted that many records have been lost over the years and that one of the goals of the effort is to identify students and their tribal affiliations.

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