There were fourteen Unangax children buried in the Carlisle Indian Industrial School cemetery in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, including Lauren’s great aunt Sophia. In other parts of the country, families suffered the same losses, including sixty-seven more Alaskan children buried in Chemawa Indian School in Oregon. How do we return our children who were stolen over a hundred years ago by church interests and the U.S. government in a way that protects the mental health of the communities into which they are returned? What federal policies can be created to reconnect families with their lost children? Lauren hopes to find the answers to these questions in the RWJF program. In 2021, she brought her great aunt Sophia home from the Carlisle Indian School cemetery to her home on St. Paul Island, Alaska. Her current research will directly affect the communities of St. Paul and Belkofsky, Alaska, the Unangax community, and Alaska Natives in general. These policies may become a guideline for the many Native American tribes who are affected today by Native American Boarding Schools.
MORE ABOUT LAUREN
As an Unangax scholar doing research with, by, and for Unangax communities, Lauren looks to develop policy that supports the mental health surrounding finding and returning our children who were stolen by and died in government institutions. Her PhD program is in Native American Studies at U.C. Davis with a designated emphasis in Human Rights.