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In wake of new report, Native Hawaiians march to raise awareness about dark history of boarding schools

A newly released Federal Indian Boarding School Investigation shows reports of trauma and abuse between 1819 and 1969.
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 5:54 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 7, 2022 at 8:37 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Following the release of a new report, about two dozen Native Hawaiians from community groups across the state came together Tuesday to raise awareness about children who were mistreated years ago.

“It’s about marching for the children. Sometimes with children, they are forgotten,” said Clare Apana, of Malama Kakanilua.

A newly released Federal Indian Boarding School Investigation showed between 1819 and 1969 the federal government operated or supported hundreds of boarding schools for children from Native American, Alaskan and Hawaiian families.

There are reports trauma and abuse intended to separate children from their culture and their people from their land.

Read the full report by clicking here.

“That came with a lot of abuse and failures that got exposed and it’s been going on for a long time and I’m glad it came to the surface,” said Palikapu Dedman, of the Pele Defense Fund.

“The reason that the schools came into being was greed, the want and the land,” said Apana.

The report lists several Hawaii institutions and boarding schools, and includes Kamehameha Schools.

They include:

  • Hilo Boarding School
  • Industrial and Reformatory School
  • Industrial and Reformatory School for Girls
  • Kamehameha Schools
  • Lahainaluna Seminary
  • Mauna Loa Forestry Camp School
  • Molokai Forestry Camp School

Kamehamaha Schools says “grappling with the internal conflicts of its own colonial history” as it continues to “uplift our communities through Hawaiian culture based education.”

Cultural experts are eager to learn more details about the Hawaii schools in future federal investigative reports.

“There are accounts of getting beaten, put into solitary,” said Apana. “I just have this very heavy feeling that we’re going to find more than we really would like to find,” she added.

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