Bill Text: AZ SCM1004 | 2022 | Fifty-fifth Legislature 2nd Regular | Engrossed

Bill Title: Indian boarding schools; urging investigation

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 8-1)

Status: (Engrossed) 2022-06-23 - Introduced in House and read first time [SCM1004 Detail]

Download: Arizona-2022-SCM1004-Engrossed.html




Senate Engrossed


Indian boarding schools; urging investigation





State of Arizona


Fifty-fifth Legislature

Second Regular Session









A Concurrent Memorial


urging the United States department of the interior to investigate former and current indian boarding schools in Arizona.





To the Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior:

Your memorialist respectfully represents:

Whereas, beginning with the Indian Civilization Act of 1819, the United States enacted laws and implemented policies establishing and supporting Indian boarding schools across the nation; and

Whereas, the express purpose of these laws and policies was to implement cultural genocide by removing and reprogramming American Indian and Alaska Native children to accomplish the systematic destruction of native cultures and communities; and

Whereas, between 1869 and the 1960s, hundreds of thousands of Native American children were removed from their homes and families and placed in boarding schools operated by the federal government and churches; and

Whereas, Native American children who were forcibly removed from their homes, families and communities during this time were taken to schools far away where they were punished for speaking their native language, banned from acting in any way that might be seen to represent traditional or cultural practices, and stripped of traditional clothing, hair and personal belongings and behaviors reflective of their native cultures; and

Whereas, Native American children suffered physical, sexual, cultural and spiritual abuse and neglect and experienced treatment that in many cases constituted torture and child abuse for speaking their native languages; and

Whereas, many children never returned home from Indian boarding schools and their fates have yet to be accounted for by the United States government; and

Whereas, in the wake of the discovery of thousands of unmarked graves at boarding schools in the United States and Canada, United States Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland ordered a comprehensive review of the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies; and

Whereas, according to the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, most boarding schools were closed in the 1980s and early 1990s, but dozens remain open, with 15 still boarding students as of 2020; and

Whereas, Arizona had the second highest number of Indian boarding schools of any state in the nation, with 51 of the total 367 Indian boarding schools in the United States.

Wherefore your memorialist, the Senate of the State of Arizona, the House of Representatives concurring, prays:

1. That the United States Department of the Interior investigate all 51 of the former and current Indian boarding schools located in Arizona.

2. That the United States Department of the Interior use, or designate the use of, ground penetrating radar to look for unmarked graves and return any discovered remains to their families or tribes, as requested, for appropriate repatriation and burial.

3. That the Secretary of State of the State of Arizona transmit copies of this Memorial to the Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior.