By FELICIA FONSECA
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — 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 so far. But officials expect that figure to grow exponentially as research continues. The Interior Department report released Wednesday expands to more than 400 the number of schools that were known to have operated across the U.S. for 150 years. They emerged in the early 19th century and continued in some cases until the late 1960s. The agency says a second volume of the report will cover burial sites and the boarding schools’ impacts on Indigenous communities.