Hundreds of kids died in Native American boarding schools, a US government investigation claims Sherman Indian School Cemetery in Riverside. © Getty Images / Cindy Yamanaka

Nearly 500 pupils died while attending federal boarding schools aimed at assimilating Indigenous children, according to an investigative report published by the US Department of the Interior on Wednesday. The findings suggest that, from 1819 to 1969, several generations of Native American kids were separated from their parents and placed into boarding schools, where they were deprived of their Indigenous names and forbidden to speak their native languages or exercise customary religious practices. The goal was to annihilate Indigenous cultures.

The boarding schools’ curriculum consisted mainly of military training and learning outdated pre-industrial-era professions. Dressed in strict uniforms, with their hair cut short, many of those kids suffered emotional, physical, and even sexual abuse at the hands of their supposed caregivers.

According to the report, solitary confinement, whipping, malnourishment, and harsh manual labor were standard practices. As a result, the investigators claimed that hundreds of kids died while attending these schools. The real number of deaths, which will be discovered upon further investigation, is expected to be in the tens of thousands. (RT)