USCCB official: The church must admit its role in destroying Native American culture

by | Jan 26, 2023 | Religion

(Global Sisters Report) — The sin of the Catholic Church’s role in the federal government’s attempt to destroy Native American culture through boarding schools must be examined, acknowledged and dealt with, a church official says.The fact that the schools operated mainly in the late 1800s, when times were different, makes it no less a sin, said the Rev. Mike Carson, assistant director for the Subcommittee of Native American Affairs at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Carson spoke Monday (Jan. 23) to a webinar of dozens of members of the Catholic Native Boarding School Accountability and Healing Project, known as the AHP. The group, made up of religious orders, church officials and laypeople, works to address the role the church played in the government’s attempted cultural genocide.
“This is the sin of racism, and it was as much a sin 150 years ago as it is today,” Carson said. “The racist ideology is central to this because racial divisions do not exist in the eyes of Christ.”

Hundreds of government-funded boarding schools operated across the country from 1819 to the 1960s; many of those were run by Catholic dioceses or religious orders. In May 2022, the U.S. Department of the Interior released its initial report on the schools, showing they were rife with corporal punishment, including solitary confinement, withholding of food, and whipping and other physical abuse. There are …

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