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Category: Statements

MAIBA Statement re Indian Boarding Schools

The Minnesota American Indian Bar Association (MAIBA) commends the recent announcement of Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland to the National Congress of American Indians for a federal investigation on cemeteries and policies of the federal Indian boarding schools.  In her Secretarial memo dated June 22, 2021, she stated the history spanning over one hundred years aimed at American Indian children through federal laws and policies meant to destroy Native culture.

Beginning with the Indian Civilization Act of 1819 and running through the 1960s, the United States enacted laws and implemented policies establishing and supporting Indian boarding schools across the Nation. During that time, the purpose of Indian boarding schools was to culturally assimilate Indigenous children by forcibly relocating them from their families and communities to distant residential facilities where their American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian identities, languages, and beliefs were to be forcibly suppressed.

The legal, political, and religious forces that lined up to break apart American Indian families must be addressed and held to account for the often abusive environments that many of our ancestors, grandparents, and parents experienced as defenseless children.  In contemporary times as Native American lawyers and with Native American clients, we continue to shed light on the intergenerational trauma caused by these destructive legal and political actions.

We stand in solidarity with the 11 Minnesota Tribes, local and national American Indian organizations, and American Indian individuals who seek to provide the full history of the consequences of U.S. Indian policy from the 1800s to the present.  We do so to uplift the future generations of American Indians and to signal that education is no longer meant to harm and strip our people of our cultural identity, spirituality or family/tribal connections.  As an organization, we encourage American Indians to enter the field of law and join us as lawyers serving our tribal communities and tribal peoples.

To read the full statement, click here.

Joint Statement of Minnesota Women Lawyers and the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association

On behalf of Minnesota Women Lawyers (MWL) and the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association (MAIBA), we join our community in grieving the killing of twenty-year-old Daunte Wright, who died on April 11, 2021 after being shot by police during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

Today, our organizations had collaborated to present a session focused on Savanna’s Act: Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.  As we would have discussed during today’s MWL and MAIBA event, Congress recently enacted Savanna’s Act, a law requiring the United States Department of Justice to review, revise, and develop law enforcement and justice protocols to address missing or murdered Native Americans. We implore our Minnesota leadership to also address and review law enforcement and justice protocols as it relates to the recent deaths of Daunte Wright and many others.

We mourn the tragic death of Daunte Wright, and recognize the deep physical and emotional toll that his death—and the deaths of and discrimination against so very many others—has on our entire community, in particular our Black community members, our indigenous community members, and community members of color.

Our organizations stand in support of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, to our community members of color, and to other affinity bar associations.  We are committed to providing safe spaces for our members, allies and the community to address injustice and discrimination, and we are compelled to listen, learn, speak up and commit to doing the difficult but absolutely essential work of addressing injustice across our community.