Remains of Ten Native American Children Who Died at Government Boarding School Return Home After 100 Years
June 24, 2021
After nearly a century, the remains of ten Native American children buried in a Pennsylvania borough will be disinterred and returned to their families, reports Rebecca Johnson for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Archaeologists began the delicate disinterment process this past weekend. Some family members have already traveled-or will soon travel-to Carlisle to accompany the remains on their journey home. The cemetery grounds will likely remain closed to visitors through July 17.
These ten children number among the 10,000 or so enrolled in the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, the first government-run boarding school for Native American students. Civil War veteran Richard Henry Pratt founded the institution in 1879 to "civilize" children from Indigenous tribes around the country-in other words, a project of forced assimilation to Euro-American culture, or cultural genocide. (Patterson believed his mission was to "kill the Indian, and save the man," as he declared in an 1892 speech.)