ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Indigenous groups in Albuquerque are continuing to heal from the Indigenous children’s lives that were lost to the Albuquerque Indian School. Saturday, people in the community gathered at an event meant to honor them. This comes just weeks after a plaque marking the burial site for children who died at a Native American boarding school, went missing.

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The event at Graves Park created a space for community members to come together to heal. It’s in partnership with the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, ABQ Mutual Aid, the Urban Native Community of Albuquerque, and Fight for Our Lives. Group members say they want to see more conversations being held about these issues. 

Jolene Holgate, the training and education director at the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, explains, “We also feel like not only should our elders, our native youth, our community groups be at the table but we also need the accountability of the city of Albuquerque, we need the accountability of the state of New Mexico, as well as even our federal partners,” says Holgate. 

People prayed, there were cultural activities set up, food, and jingle dancing – all in an effort to honor the children lost and uplift each other during this time. “I think for us to be allies, you know, recognize what is happening and call it what it is, and take ownership of that and really commemorate what we’re doing here today,” says Tiffany Jiron, another Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women member. 

Jolene Holgate has advice for people who want to become more involved. “Start having these conversations within their families, within their friends, within their circles so that they understand the true history of Albuquerque,” she explains. 

Group members want people to remember the significance of the burial site at 4-H Park. There’s a memorial at the site where people are welcome to show their respects. 

Indigenous groups are also hopeful the new investigation that Congresswoman Deb Haaland started within the interior department will bring more attention to this issue.