In Forging Ahead: The Yukon’s Continuing Response to COVID-19, Goal 2 is to enhance Yukoners’ wellbeing through mental and physical health.
“There’s not a single American Indian, Alaskan Native, or Native Hawaiian in this country whose life hasn’t been affected by these schools,” Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Bryan Newland said during the press conference about the investigation and report last week.“That impact continues to influence the lives of countless families, from the breakup of families and tribal nations, to the loss of languages and cultural practices and relatives. We haven’t begun to explain the scope of this policy until now.”
The new Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives will be housed in the Colorado Department of Public Safety. It will serve as a liaison between the department and the Indigenous community, with the aid of a board composed of tribal representatives, law enforcement and social services workers.
Reasons behind the current global outbreak are unknown or at least haven’t been made available, says Aaron Glatt, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital in New York state.
But while some monkeypox questions remain unanswered, the virus is hardly novel.
The report found that, from 1819 to 1969, there were 408 boarding schools running in every corner of the country. The federal government continues to operate four off-reservation boarding schools for Native American children through the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), but in 2019, the BIE’s deputy assistant secretary Mark Cruz said the schools were “no longer in the business of assimilation” and “their purpose was transformed to support and respect tribal self-determination and sovereignty”.
The federal government says it has already released nearly C$80m (US$62m) in funding to nations conducting their own investigations into unmarked graves, including a painstaking search on the grounds of the Mohawk Institute.
In her remarks, Simon acknowledged the discoveries over the last year were a reality long suspected by Indigenous communities whose loved ones never returned home .
“We mourn with you. We stand with you,” she said. “We believe you.”