Chief wants Kansas site included in unmarked graves search

Local

This undated photo shows the Shawnee Indian Mission in Fairway, Kan. The leader of an American Indian tribe is concerned that the former Kansas boarding school will be left out of a federal initiative seeking to determine whether thousands of Native American children were buried at schools across the country in the 1800s and early 1900s. (The Kansas City Star via AP)

The leader of an American Indian tribe wants the federal government to include a former boarding school for Native American children in Kansas in a new federal program investigating whether Indigenous children were buried in unmarked graves in the 1800s and early 1900s.

Ben Barnes, chief of the Oklahoma-based Shawnee Tribe, says the tribe wants to know what happened to children at the Shawnee Indian Mission in Fairway.

It is unclear if the Shawnee site will be included because it was run by Methodists, not by the government.

But Barnes says federal agents persuaded tribes to send their children to the church-run schools, and the government now has an obligation to locate any missing remains.

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