Native Village Youth and Education News
the children who never came home
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:
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.
Background: Robert Kaufman Fabrics: http://www.robertkaufman.com/
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