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June 13, 2024

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ECBI Supports U.S Truth & Healing Commission Bill

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) strongly supports the U.S. Truth & Healing Commission Bill recently introduced in Congress. This legislation is a crucial step in acknowledging historical injustices and fostering reconciliation within Native American tribes and American society.

Principal Chief Michell Hicks and Tribal Council members attended the legislative briefing for S.1723, the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies Act, on Feb. 12 during the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Executive Council Winter Session in Washington D.C. Chief Hicks emphasized the importance of recognizing and addressing historical trauma inflicted upon Native communities.

Chief Hicks highlighted the opportunity the Truth & Healing Commission Bill provides to confront the painful realities of the past and embark on a journey towards healing and reconciliation from the trauma experienced at boarding schools. Ongoing research from the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition reveals that over 500 Indian boarding schools operated in the U.S. from 1801 to today.

Chief Hicks stressed that healing from the history of residential boarding schools is crucial for understanding its ongoing impact on Indigenous peoples’ lives today. The EBCI urges Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Ted Budd (R-N.C.) to swiftly pass this critical legislation, as the Truth & Healing Commission Bill offers a promising avenue for addressing the deep-rooted injustices and systemic inequalities faced by Indigenous peoples throughout U.S. history, advancing truth, justice, and healing.

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