An Invitation to Tribal Citizens, Medicine Men, Spiritual Leaders and Descendants

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Some graves of Indian children buried at Carlisle are marked with a headstone that says “Unknown.” Courtesy photo.

By Vi Waln

ROSEBUD – The Rosebud Sioux Tribe invites all tribal citizens, relatives, medicine men, spiritual leaders and Descendants to a discussion about the Sicangu Lakota students who are buried in a cemetery in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

From 1879-1918, many tribal children and teenagers were sent to the boarding school at Carlisle. Nearly 200 of these students, with ties to at least 50 tribes across the United States, died and were buried in Pennsylvania.

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Nearly 200 children and teenagers from several Indian tribes are buried in a cemetery next to a busy intersection in Carlisle, PA. Courtesy photo.

A group of young Sicangu Lakota citizens has joined with the Northern Arapaho Tribe to seek the return of these remains of relatives. The Northern Arapaho have hit obstacles with the Department of the Army regarding the disinterment of human remains. Consequently, the Sicangu Lakota and Northern Arapaho Tribal Historic Preservation Office are now asking for the support of other tribes in the United States to join in this endeavor.

The efforts of our young people to have the remains of these relatives returned may have a higher chance of success when elected tribal leaders, as well as tribal citizens, implore President Barack Obama to influence the decision making process. For instance, a letter writing campaign directed at President Obama by tribal citizens and relatives of the nearly 200 tribal children still buried at Carlisle could work in favor of this endeavor.

Locally, a meeting will be held on Friday, January 22, 2016 beginning at 4pm at the Tribal Headquarters in Rosebud, SD. The Sicangu Lakota Youth Council extends a special invitation to the relatives of children currently buried in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Nine children have been identified as having ties to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Their personal information is listed on the Carlisle school records as follows:

• Dora (Her Pipe) Brave Bull, a 16 year old female student who arrived at the school on 10/06/1879 and passed away on 04/24/1881.

• Ernest Knocks Off-White Thunder, an 18 year old male student who arrived at the school on 10/06/1879 and passed away on 12/14/1880.

• Lucy Pretty Eagle (Takes the Tail), a 10 year old female student who arrived at the school on 11/14/1883 and passed away on 03/09/1884.

• Warren Painter-Bear Paints Dirt, a 15 year old male student who arrived at the school on 11/30/1882 and passed away on 09/30/1884.

• Friend Hollow Horn Bear, a 17 year old male student who arrived at the school on 11/14/1883 and passed away on 05/21/1886.

• Young Eagle-Foot Canoe, a 14 year old male student who arrived on 11/14/1883 and passed away on 06/28/1886.

• Dennis Strikes First-Blue Tomahawk, a 12 year old male student who arrived on 10/06/1879 and passed away on 01/19/1881.

• Rose Long Face, an 18 year old female student who arrived on 10/06/1879 and passed away on 04/29/1881.

• Maud Swift Bear, a 15 year old female student who arrived on 10/06/1879 and passed away on 12/14/1880.

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From 1879-1918, many tribal children and teenagers were sent to the boarding school at Carlisle. Nearly 200 of these students, with ties to at least 50 tribes across the United States, died and were buried in Pennsylvania. Courtesy photo.

Please join members of the Defending Childhood Initiative’s Sicangu Lakota Youth Council, the Tokala Inajinyo Suicide Prevention Peer Youth Mentors and the RST Tribal Historic Preservation Office at this very important meeting. The work being done to heal and overcome the effects of historical trauma by our young people is crucial. They need your support. The cultural healing of our children is essential for our people, as well as our unborn generations, to move forward in a healthy manner.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Marcida Eagle Bear at (605) 441-5668 or the Tribal Historic Preservation Office (605)747-4255.

Photos courtesy of the RST DCI Sicangu Youth Council Facebook Page

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