In support of the children found buried at boarding schools across Canada, North Dakota tribal communities joined together to walk to remember their lives.
As part of the Every Child Matters movement, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, in partnership with other tribal nations as well as the United Tribes Technical College, held a memorial walk on Wednesday with one goal in mind — healing.
“You have an international crisis here of young bodies being found from boarding schools and it’s time that we speak up,” said Mike Faith, the Chairman for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Those in attendance say it’s extremely important to bring awareness to a period of time that still reflects in relatives’ lives to this day.
“You know it touches every tribe. We are still one generation out in a lot of instances with boarding school members. My grandma was a boarding school member. So you know these hit close to home with a lot of people and in our tribes,” shared Jamie Azure, the Chairman for the Turtle Mountain Tribal Nation.
Even though the day is dedicated to healing, they say recognition is vital to the process.
“Always been aware of boarding schools and the boarding school era. The trauma, the history that is involved with the boarding school era. So it’s not new to us, but it’s new to seems like the rest of the world,” explained Denise Lajimodiere, a retired NDSU professor.
Also in attendance was Rep. Ruth Buffalo, who is a part of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition as one of its directors.