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The Interior Department is on the verge of releasing a report on its investigation into the federal government’s past oversight of Native American boarding schools.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, told journalists during a March call that the report will come out in April but didn't specify a date. She first outlined the initiative last June, saying it would uncover the truth about the loss of life and the lasting consequences of boarding schools.

The work on boarding schools will include compiling and reviewing records to identify past schools, locate known and possible burial sites at or near those schools, and uncover the names and tribal affiliations of students, Haaland said.

It is unclear, however, how much information will actually be included in the report. READ MOREMary Annette Pember, Indian Country Today

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ROME — Drums pounded through the frescoed halls of the Apostolic Palace on Thursday and out into St. Peter's Square as Pope Francis welcomed a First Nations delegation seeking an apology for the Catholic Church’s role in running Canada’s notorious residential schools.

Francis met privately for two hours with the representatives of the Assembly of First Nations, following his meetings earlier in the week with delegations from the Metis and Inuit communities of Canada.

“I feel the pope and the church have expressed a sentiment of working toward reconciliation," said Grand Chief Mandy Gull-Masty of the Cree Nation, after the audience.

The trip was years in the making but gained momentum last year after the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves outside some of the residential schools. READ MOREAssociated Press

An Arizona state representative wants an investigation of Indian boarding schools to find unmarked graves going back as far as 160 years.

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State Rep. Jennifer Jermaine, White Earth Nation, sponsored and introduced the bill, requesting the Department of the Interior to investigate all 51 former and current Indian boarding schools in Arizona.

The bill, House Concurrent Memorial 2003, requests that the Department of the Interior use ground-penetrating radar to investigate the grounds in search of unmarked graves and return any discovered remains to the families or tribes of the students for appropriate repatriation and burial. READ MORE Grace Benally, Special to Indian Country Today

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A group of investors is calling on banks to rethink funding Enbridge’s oil sands projects, including the Line 3 pipeline.

“We believe that financiers of oil sands projects like Line 3 should develop policies that limit or eliminate funding for oil sands projects and/or companies engaged in oil sands projects proceeding without the [Free, Prior and Informed Consent] of impacted Indigenous Peoples. We believe that the global trend toward renewable energy use mandates the adoption of such a policy,” said the letter to banks from 158 global investors and their representatives, managing some $2 trillion in assets. Investments in Line 3 and other oil sands projects are incurring “tremendous risks and costs” that include the cultural survival of Indigenous practices, the long-term health of local water systems, and the climate.”

Banks and other publicly traded companies are under pressure both from investors, and soon government regulators, to match their corporate ESG or Environment, Social, Governance, statements with their business practices. READ MOREMark Trahant, Indian Country Today

On Thursday’s ICT Newscast, protesters gather in South Dakota and residential schools are under scrutiny, we have the latest. Plus, US Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez talks about government funding for Native communities.

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  • Protect Indigenous people’s rights or Paris climate goals will fail, says report
  • Nevada tribes taking advantage of improved voting access
  • A forgotten pioneer: the two-spirit activism of Barbara Cameron

We want your tips, but we also want your feedback. What should we be covering that we’re not? What are we getting wrong? Please let us know. icteditors@indiancountrytoday.com.

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