State creates Indian boarding schools Truth & Reconciliation Committee
October 11, 2023
OLYMPIA — Following the National Day of Remembrance for Indian Boarding Schools Sept. 30, Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced the five members of his office’s Truth & Reconciliation Tribal Advisory Committee on Oct. 4. The committee will study how Washington state can address the harms caused by the government’s historical role in the shameful legacy of Indian boarding schools.
The National Day of Remembrance for Indian Boarding Schools, also known as “orange shirt day,” is observed on Sept. 30 to raise awareness about residential boarding schools.
The Tribal Advisory Committee will hold public listening sessions across the state over the next year to begin a two-year journey toward uncovering the full history of Indian boarding schools in Washington.
The state legislature directed the Attorney General’s Office this year to convene the Tribal Advisory Committee to study boarding schools in Washington through a truth and reconciliation model. The committee’s five members must be citizens from federally recognized tribes in diverse geographic areas across the state.
Members are: Rebecca Black (Quinault), Diana Bob (Lummi), Edward Washines (Yakama), Abriel Johnny (Tlingit and Cowichan First Nations) and Tamika LaMere (Anishinaabe enrolled with the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana).
The Tribal Advisory Committee will hold the first of its public listening sessions around the state in January 2024.
The committee will submit a report in 2025 that will deliver recommendations on how the state can address the harm done by Indian boarding schools and other cultural and linguistic termination practices through a truth and reconciliation model.
Attorney General’s Office