, 2023-01-21 00:28:50,
During seventh grade at Phoenix Indian School, Birchley Mom signed up for what the school called an “outing”—which she promoted as opportunities for Native American students to earn money to spend off campus.
They were opportunities – for cheap labor.
Most people have no idea, Amy said, that school staff will send students to work, often doing menial tasks, for strangers whose backgrounds are not checked.
“A family came and picked me up and took me into their home. The job they wanted me to do was pick up dog poop in their home,” Amy said during a hearing Friday in the Gila River Indian community south of Phoenix, supervised by US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.
The session is part of a year-long ‘Road to Healing’ tour for victims and survivors of abuse in government-supported boarding schools. It is the fourth stop of the first and only Native American Secretary of State after previous stops in South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Michigan.
Ami, from Hubei, is now 67 and lives in nearby Lavigne. She still remembers her adamant refusal to clean the house — and the fallout.
“I was severely punished because I didn’t do what that family told me to do. I was never allowed to go out on another walk,” she said. “Then I started to wonder what happened to some of these kids who went out on these walks, and no one ever followed them up.”
Ami was one of several people who spoke during Haaland…
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