Native Americans share trauma of Arizona boarding schools – The Associated Press – en Español

by | Jan 20, 2023 | Education

LAVEEN VILLAGE, Ariz. (AP) — During seventh grade at Phoenix Indian School, Pershlie Ami signed up to go on what the school called an “outing” — promoted as opportunities for Native American students to earn spending money off campus. They were opportunities — for cheap labor.Ami said most people have no idea that the school staff would send students out to work, often doing menial tasks, for strangers whose backgrounds weren’t checked.“A family came and picked me up and took me to their home. The task that they wanted me to do was pick up dog poop in their house,” Ami said during a listening session Friday in the Gila River Indian Community just south of Phoenix overseen by U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.The session is part of a yearlong “Road to Healing” tour for victims and survivors of abuse at government-backed boarding schools. It is the fourth stop for the nation’s first and only Native American Cabinet secretary after previous stops in South Dakota, Oklahoma and Michigan. ADVERTISEMENTNow 67 and living in nearby Laveen, Ami, who is Hopi, still remembers vehemently refusing to clean the house and the fallout. “I got severely punished for not doing what that family had asked me to do. I was never allowed to go out on another outing,” she said. “Then I started to wonder what happened to some of these kids that went out on these outings, that nobody ever followed up on them.”Ami was one of several people who spoke during Haaland’s visit to Arizona before a large audience that included Gov. Katie Hobbs and Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego. Several testimonies addressed issues in addition to abuse, such as losing one’s culture and language. The session took plac …

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