U.S. getting more serious about Indigenous issues

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland listens during ceremonies before a meeting to hear about the painful experiences of Native Americans who were sent to government-backed boarding schools designed to strip them of their cultural identities Saturday, July 9, 2022 in Anadarko, Okla. The president of the National Congress of American Indians says Canada's progress on Indigenous issues is helping to push the United States in the same direction. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Sue Ogrocki Sue Ogrocki

The president of the National Congress of American Indians says Canada’s progress on Indigenous issues is helping push the United States do the same.

Fawn Sharp says it’s no accident the U.S. is getting more serious about investigating residential schools and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

The other big catalyst is the first Indigenous member of cabinet in U.S. history, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

Haaland started a comprehensive investigation of former Indigenous boarding schools less than a month after the discovery of what are believed to be human remains at a residential school site in B.C. last year.

Haaland is now focussing on the disproportionately high rate of unsolved killings and disappearances in what the U.S. refers to as Indian Country.

Sharp says she expects Indigenous communities in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to work together going forward to ensure the issue gets addressed.