Join Our Onondaga Nation Neighbors in a March to Mourn, Recognize the Injustice of the Indian Boarding Schools, and Begin Healing
Saturday, July 31
Please consider supporting our Onondaga Nation neighbors this Saturday, July 31, in a demonstration of compassion and solidarity, and to begin healing.
What: A time to mourn, recognize the injustice of the Indian Boarding Schools, and stand together for healing.
When: Saturday, July 31, 2021
Times: 10 a.m. -- March from the Onondaga Nation Lacrosse Arena on Route 11
1:30 p.m. -- Ceremony and Speakers: Gather in downtown Syracuse at the Cathedral at Columbus Circle
Who: The event is being led by the Onondaga Nation. All are welcome to march with the Nation, and/or to gather for the ceremony. Faith communities are especially welcomed!
· If you cannot walk the entire 6-mile march, you can join at various points along the route. The march should be passing by Atonement Lutheran Church, 116 West Glen Ave. (right off S. Salina St.) between 11:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., then by Rahma Health Clinic, 3100 S. Salina, around noon. More sites may be added. There will be water and snacks available at each site. Vans will follow the marchers so people who tire can ride.
· Donations of water and carry-along snacks are needed. Please drop off at InterFaith Works by 5 p.m. on Friday.
· Vans to transport people who cannot walk the entire march are needed, and to transport walkers back to the Onondaga Nation after the ceremony downtown.
· Wear orange clothing.
· Carrying a pair of children’s shoes, a child’s toy, and/or flowers, for placement during the ceremony is encouraged.
Who to Contact:
The march is in response to the news of the discovery of mass graves of children who attended the Indian Boarding Schools in Canada. In June, an indigenous nation in Canada found 751 unmarked graves at the site of a former school in Saskatchewan. This followed the discovery of the remains of 215 children who were found at a similar residential school in British Columbia. News of the discovery has been chilling, and a source of deep grief for many who are Native American and for their allies.
Boarding Schools were also prevalent in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries. These federally funded Indian Boarding Schools aimed to strip Native Americans of their culture. Opened in 1879 and during its 30 years of operation, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania housed more than 12,000 Native children, including many Onondaga and Oneida Nation children. A key phrase that guided the school's mission was “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” Carlisle was the blueprint for other Boarding Schools in the United States, which grew to number more than 300.
· housed children taken from their families and tribes against their will in order to assimilate them into American and Canadian society;
· used teaching and assimilation methods that included isolating the children from their Native cultures through the cutting of hair, dressing in Western clothing, and refusing the use of their own languages, spiritual practices, and rituals;
· employed beatings, deprivations, and sexual abuse as methods of punishment;
· refused the rights of parents to visit their children, and the rights of parents to retrieve their children.
As recently as June, the remains of 10 Native children, who died more than a century ago and were buried at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, were returned to their communities. At least 189 students were buried in the school's cemetery.
InterFaith Works' Round Table of Faith Leaders and Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse Bishop Douglas Lucia will join the march. You are invited as well.