Wisconsin governor apologizes for indigenous boarding schools

Wisconsin governor apologizes for indigenous boarding schools
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Wisconsin Gov. Tony EversTony EversCities prep security plans for large holiday crowds Biden urges Americans to express their views on Rittenhouse verdict 'peacefully' Jury finds Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges MORE (D) issued a formal apology Monday for "the tragedies inflicted upon Native American families and communities at boarding schools in Wisconsin and across the U.S." 

Evers signed the executive order at the Oneida Reservation on Monday, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported.

"As a state, we share responsibility and have a moral obligation to pursue the truth and to bring these injustices to light in Wisconsin and our country because that understanding and acknowledgment is essential for accountability and healing," Evers wrote in a Twitter thread on the order. 

Evers said his new order supports the Department of the Interior in its Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, announced in June, to review of "the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies."

Wisconsin had at least 10 Native American boarding schools, where hundreds or possibly thousands of Native youth died from disease or neglect, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Students had their hair cut short, were barred from speaking their native languages, and were stripped of other culture and customs. 

The formal apology from Evers comes on Indigenous Peoples Day, which was officially recognized by President BidenJoe BidenGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Five House members meet with Taiwanese president despite Chinese objections Sunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist MORE via presidential proclamation Friday. Wisconsin is among more than a dozen states that have renamed the date that has historically been celebrated as Columbus Day.

Not all state and local officials have embraced the change. A mayor in Waterville, Maine, issued a proclamation in 2019 that officially solidified recognizing the holiday as Columbus Day. 

However, many Christopher Columbus statues have been taken down throughout the country in the past few years due to a long list of abuses he is believed to have committed or enabled against Native populations during his explorations — from rape to enslavement and murder. 

A statue of Columbus in Pittsburgh remains wrapped in plastic amid a legal battle over what its fate should be, while a statue of Columbus in Philadelphia was ordered to remain uncovered, and a Columbus statue in Tampa, Fla., remains standing and protected with around-the-clock guards.