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Indian Boarding School Initiative Comment Period Nov 15 – Dec 15, 2021

The Department seeks to consult with Tribal governments, Alaska Native Corporations, and Native Hawaiian Organizations on key issues for inclusion in the Department’s Indian Boarding School Initiative’s (Initiative) report and to help lay the foundation for future sitework to protect potential burial sites and other sensitive information. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced the Initiative in June 2021 as the first steps in addressing Indian boarding school policies and their effects as part of the Department’s report due to the Secretary by April 1, 2022. The Initiative’s purpose is an initial collection and review of Department documents and records, and compilation of its existing data within the Department’s jurisdiction. For over a century, the Bureau of Indian Affairs was involved in the operation and oversight of Indian boarding schools in the United States. As a result, the Department is uniquely positioned to assist in the effort to recover the histories of Federal Indian boarding schools.

Participants are requested to address specific topics as detailed in the Dear Tribal Leader Letter here. Update: two of the three consultations have been rescheduled as documented in a revised Tribal Leader letter here and in an ANC CEO letter here.

The Department will conduct three webinar consultation sessions and will accept oral and written comments.

Please register in advance for any consultation session you plan on attending. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Please note that these Tribal consultations will be closed to the press and the public to protect confidential information that may be discussed during the sessions. If you have questions regarding this effort, please contact Heidi Todacheene, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs, by email at Heidi_Todacheene@ios.doi.govor by phone at (202) 208-7163.