News Release

24th Navajo Nation Council

Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty (Cove, Toadlena/Two Grey Hills, Red Valley, Tsé' Ałnáozt'i'í, Tooh Haltsooí, Beclabito, Gad'ii'áhí/Tó Kǫ'í) of the 24th Navajo Nation Council attended the “Boarding School Healing Action” event in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Saturday, July 17, 2021.

“This is just one step in the healing journey as we tread lightly to recognize the sensitivity on how we proceed forward,” said Delegate Crotty. “We will continue to get direction from our cultural advisors and families.”

This comes after the discovery of multiple unmarked graves of Indigenous children being excavated at various residential and boarding school sites across the United States and Canada. Last month, the remains of 215 Indigenous children were unearthed at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. 

After the discovery, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, announced in late June that a Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative would be launched to review the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies.

“The Interior Department will address the inter-generational impact of Indian boarding schools to shed light on the unspoken traumas of the past, no matter how hard it will be,” said Secretary Haaland. “I know that this process will be long and difficult. I know that this process will be painful. It won’t undo the heartbreak and the loss we feel. But only by acknowledging the past can we work toward a future that we’re all proud to embrace.”

The Boarding School Healing Action event took place at Graves Park at 7:00 p.m. (MDT) to honor the lives of 120 Indigenous children buried at the 4-H Park who attended the Albuquerque Indian School from 1882 to 1933. Additionally, survivors of these schools who were traumatized by the abuse and neglect that occurred, will be honored.

“For generations, our families suffered silently with the pain of losing a child or sibling at boarding school,” said Delegate Crotty. “This is a time for genuine truth and reconciliation.”

The family-friendly event included food, healing activities, and traditional dances to promote care and support for the community.

This event was organized and supported by ABQ Mutual Aid, Fight for Our Lives, and the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women. For more information, please visit the Facebook event page at https://fb.me/e/BUc9AdCs/

24th Navajo Nation Council - logo July 2021