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Truth, healing and transformation

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Truth, healing and transformation

To the editor: Alaska Friends Conference (an Alaska-wide organization of the Religious Society of Friends — Quakers) supports the creation of a Truth and Healing Commission addressing the impact of boarding schools for Indians and Indigenous youth as called for in federal bills S2907 and HR5444.

As Alaska Quakers, we are learning about boarding schools, missions other institutions and practices instituted and led by several religious groups in Alaska, including Quakers. The record contains painful examples of brutality and injustice, including forced assimilation and disruption of Alaska Natives’ families, communities and culture. The resulting damage affects Alaskans to this day.

We believe that healing and transformation require making a safe space for speaking about past and present harms, and this new knowledge will help evolve relationships between Alaskans. An increasing number of individuals in the Alaska Friends Conference have begun by participating as accountability partners in the First Alaskans Institute’s Truth, Healing and Transformation tribunal sessions.

A Truth and Healing Commission would strongly affirm and facilitate the healing work begun throughout Alaska. Alaska Friends Conference strongly supports the establishment of such a Truth and Healing Commission.

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