Native Village Youth and Education News
November, 2009   Volume 2

Remembering the children who never came home
Article and photos by Brenda Norrell
Condensed by Native Village

CARLISLE, Penn. -- Most American Indian children in US boarding schools were kidnapped or stolen from their parents. At Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Native American children were part of the US experiment which became the prototype of the boarding schools that followed. Across the US:
ndian Children were forbidden to speak their language, which carried their songs and ceremonies.
Their hair was cut in an attempt to cut the Indian-ness from them.
Children were routinely abused, beaten and abused.
Some were tortured and locked in cellars.
Some were shot trying to escape.
Some died of malnutrition and pneumonia.
Some died from tuberculosis. TB spread rapidly  through the Indian school population because children with TB were housed with healthy children.
Young Indian boys who survived were militarized, made into US soldiers.
An unknown number died after returning home.
A generation of American Indians suffered from childhoods of abuse, deprived of the love of their parents.

This pattern of genocide was repeated in Australia and Canada. In Canada, at the residential schools operated by churches, there is new evidence that children were murdered.

At today's Haskell Indian Nations University, the unmarked graves in the marsh tell the rest of the story. Many of the children who died, or were murdered, were buried in unmarked graves without gravestones.

Carlisle Indian School was built on the premise of a prison.  Richard H. Pratt designed the school, based on his experience at St. Augustine prison in Florida.  "Kill the Indian, and save the man," Pratt said, stating his theory of education.

Children arrived in Carlisle on October 6, 1879 and the assimilation began. The boys were dressed in military uniforms; the girls wore Victorian style dresses. Both male and female were forced to have their hair cut. To the Lakota, the cutting of the hair was symbolic of mourning."

The tombstones tell the story -- the children quickly began dying.  At Carlisle, there were 10,000 Indian children in the boarding school between 1879 and 1918. There are 186 graves that are marked with tombsones.

 in memory at Carlisle

Fanny Charging Shield, Sioux, died March 7, 1892;
Susia Nach Kea, Apache, died May 14, 1889;
Godfrey Blatcha, Apache, died July 1890;
Cooking Look, Alaskan, died Jan. 4, 1904;
Alice Springer, Omaha, died Nov. 12, 1883;
Henry Jones, Iowa, died March 20, 1880;
Nannie Little Rose, Cheyenne;
Albert Henderson;
Giles Hands, died May, 1881, Cheyenne;
Maul, daughter of Chief Swift Bear, Sioux, died Dec. 1880;
Ernest, son of Chief White Thunder, Sioux, died Dec. 14, 1880;
Isabel Kelcusay, Apache, died on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 1884;
Pedro Saaehez, Apache, died in May of 1885;
Frank Cushing, Pueblo, died July 22, 1881;
William Sammers, Cheyenne, died May 21, 1888,
Corine Simohtie, Apache, died Feb. 11, 1886;
Sibyl Mapko, Apache;
Kate Rosskidwitts, Witchita, died Jan. 10,
1882, John Bytzolay and all the others.

These photos, taken at the cemetery at Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, are posted for the families of the children who never came home

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