US finds 500 Native American boarding school deaths so far

  • FILE - In this July 8, 2021, photo, adjunct history professor and research associate Larry Larrichio holds a copy of a late 19th century photograph of pupils at an Indigenous boarding school in Santa Fe during an interview in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The U.S. Interior Department is expected to release a report Wednesday, May 11, 2022, that it says will begin to uncover the truth about the federal government's past oversight of Native American boarding schools. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

  • A makeshift memorial for the dozens of Indigenous children who died more than a century ago while attending a boarding school that was once located nearby is displayed under a tree at a public park in Albuquerque, N.M., on July 1, 2021. The U.S. Interior Department is expected to release a report Wednesday that it says will begin to uncover the truth about the federal government’s past oversight of Native American boarding schools. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A first-of-its-kind federal study of Native American boarding schools that for over a century sought to assimilate Indigenous children into white society has identified more than 500 student deaths at the institutions, but officials expect that figure to grow exponentially as research continues.