There were over 500 Indian Residential Schools across the United States, most of which were in Oklahoma. It is speculated that 20,000 children lost their lives while in attendance to these ‘schools’, across the United States and Canada. Due to most of these deaths going unrecorded, the true number remains unknown.
Native children, for more than a hundred years were forcibly taken to attend these government and church run residential schools. Other families were forced or coerced into attendance, through means of starvation, imprisonment and even death. This was US policy during the time. “Kill the Indian, save the man” or “Kill the Indian to save the child” ....might sound familiar to you.
I am a survivor of genocide and torture. At 7 years old, I was taken and placed in the United States residential Indian school system. When my mother was a child, she too was taken and put into these schools. This is intergenerational. This is systemic trauma.
While in attendance, I was stripped, whipped, beaten, my hair was cut against my will. I was used, I was taken advantage of. Food was withheld. I was punished for speaking my language, I was punished for existing. I was tortured. It is no surprise to me that we are now finding an inaccuracy of reported deaths at the hands of these schools.
For example, at Kamloops Indian School, 51 deaths had been reported, not matching the 215 children’s bodies that were most recently found. The report is not complete at the time of this writing. There could be even more.
I have started a GoFundMe, along with my daughter, to help supplement operating costs for her and myself to physically go to (with property owner’s permissions) and search the grounds of Indian Residential School sites with GPR, or ground penetrating radar. Neilofar is in the training process now and will be completed by the end of July. The man we’re working with on purchasing the device is very confident that we’ll be able to get this done.
To purchase a radar system, we need $25,000. We are also looking for help in purchasing a reliable utility van to transport the device to the sites we’re researching now. Any additional funds raised for this cause would be used for operating costs (additional software for surveying, gas, etc) to help us get the job done. We want to take you all along and report the findings as we go.
This is personal and we want to uncover the truth. It’s time to stop waiting around for someone to come look. It’s time to stop waiting around for the government to get involved. It’s time to stand up, take action and be a part of the change. Be part of rewriting history. For the truth. For our ancestors. And for our future generations. It’s time to uncover our wounds and let the people know what we’ve been through. And show that we persist. We are here and we are proud of who we are. We will not lay down and let our people’s deaths be unheard, silenced, quieted any more.
As a survivor of the US Indian Residential School system, I know the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional abuse and horrors that those children lived through, on a daily basis. I know the struggles that I’ve endured, being presented into a world where “that’s not normal”. I know the nagging tug at the back of my mind. Of what happened to me, as well as the others, and I want to bring some sort of justice - to this blatant human rights violation, done unto the Indigenous people of these lands, by the United States and Canadian governments.
We have to speak for the children who were there with me, right in my shoes, but that did not have a chance to walk away. Help us find our brothers and sisters who never got the chance to break free, to come home.
If you are interested in helping but cannot do so financially, please visit me on Tik Tok or YouTube . Listen and share with your people. Any support is greatly appreciated, and every bit goes towards taking another step towards our goals.
I want people to know what really happened to us. This is OUR history. I want US history to be transparent and clear about what happened to our people. I don’t ever want to ask another American, “Have you heard of the US Indian Residential School system?” and get a “No, what’s that?”, ever again. I’m here to educate as well as learn from other people and I love when people are curious and they ask questions, but we should all know our true history, not some revisionist version of it.
Many of us are grieving right now. We’re grieving for ourselves, our elderly, we’re grieving for the children and the families that suffered unimaginable losses. We’re grieving but we want to take that energy and do something. Make a change.
I am a survivor of genocide and torture, and it’s time to unwrap these wounds and begin to heal, the best we can.
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We need media coverage right now, to get this done, to help get funding for projects like this and for awareness. The news stations are not going to do that for us. Please help us in bringing the truth forward.
Thank you for your support,
Brought Plenty and Neilofar
Our organization has received 501(c)(3) status approval from the IRS effective 11/30/2021.