Honest look at history of residential schools is necessary

In response to a recent statement from the Tulalip Tribe Board of Directors regarding residential schools, Snohomish for Equity believes our entire community must hear the truth.

The history our children learn in school sets the foundation for which they become active and informed citizens. When the truth is not told and not recognized, legends will fill the void. Many adults have not had a truthful foundation. It is time to rebuild the historical foundation that many adults missed out on so that we can all be truth tellers to our children and grandchildren.

The truth is Indigenous children were stolen from their families and taken to a residential school on the land of the Tulalip Tribes. This was systematic and perpetrated by white government and religious institutions. These children became hungry and malnourished. These children became sick. These children cried for their families. These children were cut off from their culture, beaten for speaking any language other than English. And far too many children died. This happened right here, in this county we call home.

This is the truth. We ask all Snohomish County residents and all local, state and federal leaders to demand that these atrocities be acknowledged in a way that respects every single life that was taken and changed because of the systemic policies to exterminate Indigenous People from their land. We must ensure that Indigenous ancestors are finally respected. They were children. They were loved.

Tabitha Baty, Denise Gertis, Lisa Odom, Kathy Purviance-Snow, Joan Robinett Wilson, Teresa Rugg

Snohomish County

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