Children remains buried at Carlisle will return home

An 1882 photograph taken by John N. Choate depicts Native American students posing in front of the Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, Penn. The students in this photograph represent different Native tribes from all over the United States. (Special to the Times – Ravonelle Yazzie)

An 1882 photograph taken by John N. Choate depicts Native American students posing in front of the Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, Penn. The students in this photograph represent different Native tribes from all over the United States. (Special to the Times – Ravonelle Yazzie)

FARMINGTON

More than 100 years after their deaths, children buried on the campus of the former Carlisle Indian Industrial School are on their way home.

Between 1879 and 1918, more than 10,000 Native children were housed at the nation’s flagship Indian boarding school, built atop the ruins of a Civil War barracks and designed to “kill the Indian and save the man.” Nearly 200 of the children died at the school, most from diseases like tuberculosis or consumption.

Their bodies were never returned to their families, and the U.S. Army War College built its campus on top of Carlisle. Now, after years of contentious meetings with tribes, the Army has agreed to send the children home.

The decision came after a meeting last week during which tribal representatives asked the college, the Secretary of Defense and President Barack Obama to honor the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), which requires the college to complete an inventory of the remains and comply with requests to return the contents of the graves to the appropriate tribes.


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Categories: News

About Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reports on Navajo Nation Council, Business, Fort Defiance Agency, New Mexico State politics and Art/fashion. Her clans are Nát'oh dine'é Táchii'nii, Bit'ahnii, Kin łichii'nii, Kiyaa'áanii. She’s originally from Fort Defiance and has a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. Before working for the Navajo Times she was a reporter for the Gallup Independent. She can be reached at abecenti@navajotimes.com.