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Sign Petition for Carlisle Boarding School to Send the Children Home

Sign the Petition for Carlisle Boarding School to Send the Children Home

The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition is asking you to sign a petition to bring home the remains of Native American children who are buried in the graveyard at the former Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (Carlisle Indian Industrial School). The petition campaign is in support of requests from the Rosebud Sioux and the Northern Arapaho, and any other tribe that might request the repatriation of their relatives’ remains that are interred there. The two tribes are now calling other tribes to join in the Carlisle repatriation request. They hope to engage in government-to-government conversations that will result in the return of their children.

According to the coalition’s petition site, “In 1879 the first American Indian children arrived at Carlisle Boarding School. The school would remain open for 39 years and some 12,000 children would be sent there for forced assimilation. This was the beginning of the U.S. Boarding School Era — the federal government’s policy of dealing with the “Indian problem” by using education as a weapon. The intent was to remove all traces of tribal cultures — language, spiritual traditions, family ties, etc. and replace them with European Christian ideals of civilization, religion and culture. “Kill the Indian, Save the Man” was the slogan, and cultural genocide was the result.

Many Native American children — nearly 200 — died while at Carlisle.

“Our children were taken. Our language beaten out of them. Their hair cut off without ceremony. And our families torn apart.”

According to Christine Diindiisi McCleave (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe), who is executive officer of the coalition, “Generations later, our tribal communities bear the soul wound of this loss. Grieving and inter-generational trauma are the legacies of the U.S. Boarding School Policy. And Carlisle Industrial Indian School was at the genesis of it all. So as the flagship school — the icon and model of all boarding schools — it makes sense that Carlisle would also be the model for healing and the genesis of the truth, reconciliation and healing process.” McCleave is the descendant of a boarding school survivor.

The school is now the Army War College. So far the Army has refused the requests for repatriation.

Read the petition, sign and join the call to repatriate the children buried at Carlisle. Visit this link:

For additional background, please read this article on, which is the news website of the Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News: