EBCI applauds U.S. Truth & Healing Commission Bill

by Feb 16, 2024NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments

Office of the Principal Chief release


The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) expresses its full support and endorsement of the U.S. Truth & Healing Commission Bill introduced in Congress. This groundbreaking legislation marks a significant step towards acknowledging historical injustices and fostering reconciliation among Native American tribes and the broader American society.

Principal Chief Michell Hicks and members of Tribal Council attended the legislative briefing for S.1723, the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies Act, on Monday, Feb. 12, as part of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Executive Council Winter Session held in Washington D.C.

He emphasized the importance of recognizing and addressing the historical trauma inflicted upon Native communities. “For centuries, Indigenous people have endured dispossession, displacement, and cultural erasure,” said Chief Hicks. “The Truth & Healing Commission Bill represents a crucial opportunity to confront the painful realities of the past and embark on a journey towards healing and reconciliation from the trauma experienced at these boarding schools.”

Ongoing research from the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition states that over 500 Indian boarding schools operated in the U.S. from 1801 to today.

“Confronting and healing from the painful history of residential boarding schools is not just about acknowledging the past; it’s about understanding how it continues to affect Indigenous peoples lives today,” Chief Hicks stated. “To heal, we must confront this painful history with empathy and understanding.”

He continued by recognizing Congressman Chuck Edwards (R-N.C.), a co-sponsor of the bill, who has been instrumental in his support. “We express our sincere thanks to Congressman Edwards for his leadership in championing the US Truth and Healing Commission bill,” said Chief Hicks.

As the bill moves forward, the EBCI calls upon Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Senator Ted Budd (R-N.C.) to swiftly pass this critical legislation as the Truth & Healing Commission Bill offers a promising avenue for advancing truth, justice, and healing as it aims to address the deep-rooted injustices and systemic inequalities faced by Indigenous peoples throughout U.S. history.