Remains of five other Native American children are to be unearthed in Pennsylvania

CARLISLE, Pa. (AP) — The remains of five other Native American children who died over a century ago at a notorious Pennsylvania state boarding school are being excavated from a small army cemetery and returned to their descendants, authorities said Thursday.

The remains are buried on the grounds of Carlisle Barracks, home of the US Army War College. The children attended the former Carlisle Indian Industrial School, where thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their families and forced to integrate into white society as part of US policy.

The Carlisle school subjected the children to harsh conditions that sometimes resulted in their deaths. The school, founded by an army officer, cut off their braids, dressed them in military uniforms and punished them for speaking their native language. European names were forced upon them.

The Office of Army Cemeteries said the most recent excavation of the remains will begin on September 11. It is the sixth such excavation in Carlisle by the military since 2017 Transfers remain to living family members for reburial. According to cemetery officials, 28 children have been returned so far.

Among the remains scheduled for relocation this fall are those of 13-year-old Amos LaFromboise of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate tribe of South Dakota, who died in 1879, just 20 days after arriving at the school. The tribe had written to the US Army Cemeteries Office in March urge the boy to return sooner, who has been described as the son of one of the tribe’s most famous leaders. The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate want to bury him next to his father on the Lake Traverse Reservation in South Dakota.

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According to the Office of Army Cemeteries, the other relocated students died between 1880 and 1910 while attending Carlisle School. They are Edward Upright of the Spirit Lake Tribe of North Dakota, Beau Neal of the Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming, Edward Spott of the Puyallup Tribe of Washington state, and Launy Shorty of the Blackfeet Nation of Montana.

Between 1879 and 1918 more than 10,000 children from more than 140 tribes attended the school, including famous Olympian Jim Thorpe.

Beginning with the Indian Civilization Act of 1819, the United States enacted laws and policies establishing and supporting Native American boarding schools across the country. Hundreds of thousands of indigenous children have been abducted from their communities and forced into boarding schools with a focus on assimilation.

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