Remembering Those Who Died at Carlisle Indian Boarding School

Alaskan Native elder, Bob Sam (Tlingit) kneels and prays at Carlisle Indian Industrial School cemetery during NABS’ first conference.

Published December 23, 2018

CARLISLE, Penn. — There are 186 graves in the Carlisle Indian Industrial School cemetery of American Indian children who died while attending the school. Some 10,000 American Indian students from 140 different tribes from across the United States attended the Carlisle Indian Industrial School during four decades between 1879 – 1918.

The Indian boarding school era is a dark chapter of US history when American Indian boys and girls were taken from their familial homes and put into boarding schools with hopes of assimilating the Indian youth. The Indian boarding school operated with the mantra: “Kill the Indian, save the man.”

To mark the 100th anniversary of the closing of the school, the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS) held its first national conference, “The The Spirit Survives: A National Movement Toward Healing,” on October 2-3, 2018 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

The conference drew nearly 200 attendees who came from more than 70 different tribal nations across
the country; the majority of whom were boarding school survivors or descendants.

The above photograph is on cover of the NABS annual report. It shows Bob Sam (Tlingit), an Alaskan Native, who was move with emotion of seeing the grave markers of the students who died at Carlisle. He knelt and prayed to remember those children who died there.

To provide financial assistance for the important work NABS is doning and to keep up this momentum, please consider making a tax-deductible donation before the year-end in support of truth, justice, and healing.


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